Dumanjug VM posts bail over malversation raps
Michael Vencynth H. Braga/ATO (The Freeman) - December 2, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Dumanjug Vice Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica posted a P40,000 bail in connection with the malversation of public property case filed against him by Mayor Nelson Gamaliel Gica.

Gica made the move ahead of the issuance of an arrest warrant.

“Mao man gyod nay mahitabo nga mag-issue og arrest warrant, that’s procedural, so mi-post na lang ta sa bail,” he said.

The arraignment is set for December 14 this year.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas earlier indicted Gica for malversation of public property over his alleged refusal to return a computer set issued to him during his term as town councilor, recommending the filing of the criminal case in court against Gica.

The case stemmed from the complaint of Mayor Garcia, who alleged that Gica did not return the computer even after his term ended on June 30, 2010 and despite the several demands made by the property custodian. This prompted the Garcia to bring the matter before the anti-graft office on February 28, 2014.

In a phone interview, Gica maintained that the computer had already been returned to the municipality in 2010, but was placed in the office of the mayor.

“I have nothing to blame but myself for negligence. Wa nauli og tarong ang computer sa property custodian siguro out of frustration katong wa ko kadaog. But I did not act in bad faith,” he said over the phone.

He admitted though of negligence in the delay of the return of the government-owned property. He turned over the computer to the property custodian more than three years after his term as councilor ended.

But graft investigation and prosecution officer Maria Corazon Vergara-Narraja had clarified that the return of the item did not extinguish the criminal liability, but only the civil liability, citing a ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Felicilda versus Grospe, et al.

Gica ran for mayor last 2010 but lost to Garcia. He won the vice mayoral post in May 2013 elections. He will be challenging Garcia again in the elections next year. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BUT I DUMANJUG VICE MAYOR EFREN GUNTRANO GICA GARCIA GICA MARIA CORAZON VERGARA-NARRAJA MAYOR GARCIA MAYOR NELSON GAMALIEL GICA NBSP OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-VISAYAS SUPREME COURT
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