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Cebu News

Daanbantayan councilman cleared from criminal complaint

Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas dismissed the criminal complaints filed against an incumbent barangay councilor of Bakhawan, Daanbantayan, Cebu, for lack of probable cause.

Graft investigator Irish Inabangan Amores found no evidence to indict Manuel Linabog for malversation of public property thru falsification of public documents and for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Although, there was some color of mistake on the registration of the government  vehicle under respondent’s name, it was not sufficiently established from the record that it was due to the fault or acts of respondent,” the resolution reads.

In the complaint filed by Bernardito Luche Jr., the present barangay captain of Bakhawan, he alleged that respondent former barangay captain committed several violations.

These violations include the alleged illegal registration and or use of a supposed government vehicle and the payment of gasoline bills, the failure to render account relative to the collected water bills, the alleged act of allowing respondent’s mother to make use of a barangay waiting shed as her sari-sari store and the failure to turn over barangay property, funds and official records.

The investigation of the Public Assistance and Corruption

Prevention Office (PACPO) of the Office of the Ombudsman revealed that the sari-sari store was erected on a lot adjacent to the waiting shed. The lot was reportedly bought by the respondent from Luz Vosotros.

The PACPO added that on December 22, 2008, there was a report of turn- over of properties, funds and records to the barangay.

However, the PACPO said the issue on the non-issuance of official receipts and failure to account the collected water bills were referred to the Commission  on  Audit (COA)-7.

For the subject vehicle, PACPO said they found out that the vehicle was registered under the name of the respondent. The vehicle was acquired through provincial funds by way of financial assistance from then Governor Pablo Garcia in the amount of P100,000.  In his answer, the respondent denied the allegations and said the complaint filed was a form of political harassment.

He likewise, denied the allegation that he used the subject vehicle for personal purposes.

“The subject vehicle has always been used for and in behalf of barangay Bakhawan during my term as barangay captain,” he said.

He said it was not him who went to the Land Transportation Office to process the registration of the vehicle but the supplier who won the bidding.

He added that he and his councilmen were surprised after learning that the vehicle was registered under his name. He said he instructed the treasurer for the transfer of registration under the name of the barangay.

Respondent added his trips were duly supported by trip tickets and the use of vehicle was for the purposes of public functions.

In her 13-page resolution, Amores ruled based on the evidence of the respondent that he did not process the registration of the vehicle as corroborated by other officials. It was also noted that the allegation that respondent “falsified some documents in order to successfully register the assailed motor vehicle in his name” failed to prove that he committed a crime.

Considering there was no COA report to support the complainant’s claim, Amores said the evidence of the complainant was insufficient. —/MIT (FREEMAN)

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

BAKHAWAN

BARANGAY

BERNARDITO LUCHE JR.

GOVERNOR PABLO GARCIA

IRISH INABANGAN AMORES

LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE

LUZ VOSOTROS

MANUEL LINABOG

RESPONDENT

VEHICLE

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