Ombuds clears treasurer from graft complaints
Christell Fatima M. Tudtud, Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - June 9, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has cleared the municipal treasurer of Medellin, Cebu from the criminal and administrative complaints filed against her over the delay in liquidating her cash advances.

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Katherine Arnoco Genovesa-Mahawan dismissed the complaints of malversation of public funds, failure of a public officer to render account, misconduct, neglect of duty  filed against Ruth Gillamac.

“Good faith is manifested when respondent fully settled her account on October 18, 2016 upon knowing her unliquidated cash advance. Hence, she can no longer be charged since there is no unliquidated cash advance at the time of the docketing of this case on August 11, 2017,” read the joint resolution.

In their complaint, the Field Investigation Office (FIO) alleged Gillamac was granted a cash advance of P32,000 in 2008  to be used for the Barangay Human Rights Action Center Training Seminar held on October 29, 2008 at the Medellin Social Hall.

However, she failed to liquidate the same within 30 days after her return to office.

It was on October 18, 2016 that Gillamac was able to liquidate her cash advance.

Gillamac, in her counter-affidavit, denied the allegation filed against her.

She claimed the P32,000 was not fraudulently taken by her, but was used to pay for the expenses for her attendance in the seminar.

She explained that there was a delay in the liquidation because former municipal accountant Alan Dela Rama erroneously recorded the amount under the name of their former mayor instead of her.

Upon the knowing that she had an outstanding cash advance, she immediately settled her account.

Mahawan ruled that because Gillamac was able to liquidate her cash advance though belated, there was no reason not to drop the complaints filed against her.

She, however, sternly warned Gillamac that a repetition of similar offense will be dealt with more severely.

Under Probe

Meanwhile, some of the employees assigned at the tourism office of the Mandaue City government is under investigation for allegedly accepting payments without receipts, according to Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing.

He, however, declined to disclose the details of the reported allegations and as to how many employees are involved in the issue, which is now being investigated by the City Legal Office.

Quisumbing said they received a complaint from a private individual through 8888, the city government's hotline for complaints.

He felt disappointed over the incident, as the City Tourism Office does not have an authority to receive payments because this is the responsibility of the City Treasurer's Office.

"The tourism department and the people working in the tourism department are not authorized to collect payments. It should be the treasurer department. It was a private complainant, complained via a hotline and called us for an investigation.  I am very disappointed,” Quisumbing added.  — GAN (FREEMAN)


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