Ex-Laguna town treasurer gets 7 years for malversation

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A former treasurer of Pagsanjan, Laguna may spend up to seven years in prison for failing to account for a cash shortage of P483,529.

In a 17-page decision promulgated on Nov. 23, the Sandiganbayan‘s Fifth Division upheld the decision of the Sta. Cruz Regional Trial Court (RTC) 4th Judicial Region Branch 28, which convicted Elizalde Gabaleño of malversation of public funds.

The anti-graft court said Gabaleño failed to raise any meritorious argument in his motion to reverse the RTC ruling dated Dec. 16, 2021.

Aside from the prison term, the trial court ordered Gabaleño’s perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

He was also asked to pay a fine of P483,529.31, which is equivalent to the amount of public fund found to have been malversed.

The cash shortage was discovered during a cash and account examination by the Commission on Audit (COA) in June 2005.

The Office of the Ombudsman said Gabaleño failed to return the amount despite repeated demands by the COA.

The fifth division dismissed as ”self-serving” Gabaleno’s claim that he was robbed on his way to a bank to deposit cash to the Pagsanjan municipal government’s bank account on March 5, 2005.

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