Dumanjug vice mayor Gica indicted for malversation
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - November 11, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has indicted Dumanjug Vice Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica for malversation of public property over his alleged refusal to return a computer set issued to him during his term as town councilor.

Graft investigation and prosecution officer Maria Corazon Vergara-Narraja sustained her earlier findings recommending the filing of the criminal case in court against Gica.

Narraja denied Gica’s motion for reconsideration citing new evidence was offered by the latter to disturb an earlier finding of probable cause.

 “After careful scrutiny of the motion, the Office resolved to deny the same. Respondent-movant offered neither any novel argument nor new evidence to convince the Office to reverse or modify the challenged Resolution,” read the order.

 Naraja said that the claim of Gica that the computer set worth P52,640 never left the premises of the legislative building of the municipality of Dumanjug and it was under the constructive possession and control of the Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Victor Tan is a matter of evidence that can be best “threshed out in a full blown trial.”

Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Gamaliel Garcia filed the complaint against Gica after the latter allegedly refused to return the computer set issued to him after his term as councilor expired on June 30, 2010.

 Garcia said several demands were made by the property custodian for Gica to return the computer set but the latter failed to comply prompting him to bring the matter before the anti-graft office on February 28, 2014.

On May 9, 2014, Gica eventually returned the MacBook computer. However, Narraja said the return of the computer did not extinguish Gica’s liability.

“As to whether the return of the property may exculpate respondent, this matter ultimately rests on the court to decide,” Narraja said.

She said the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Felicilda versus Grospe, et al. that the return of the item did not extinguish the criminal liability but only the civil liability. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC COMPUTER DUMANJUG MAYOR NELSON GAMALIEL GARCIA DUMANJUG VICE MAYOR EFREN GUNTRANO GICA GICA MARIA CORAZON VERGARA-NARRAJA NARRAJA OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-VISAYAS ON MAY SANGGUNIANG BAYAN SECRETARY VICTOR TAN SUPREME COURT
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