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Freeman Region

Town mayor dismissed for falsified travel expense reimbursements

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed Mayor Apolinaria Balistoy of Cortes town in Bohol on charges arising from the use of falsified and dubious official receipts and certificates of attendance to secure reimbursement of expenses for purported trainings in 2010.

Apart from dismissal, the Ombudsman also meted on Balistoy the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and bar from taking civil service examinations.

In case of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to respondent’s one year salary.

Investigation showed that Balistoy defrauded the government by obtaining fraudulent certificates of attendance for four training modules from May to October 2010, and used these documents to obtain reimbursements for travel and training expenses totaling P155,789, the Ombudsman said in its decision.

However, the Field Investigation Office, as complainant, presented documents that Balistoy attended meetings in the provinces instead of the trainings in Metro Manila. The Commission on Audit also stated that the “reimbursements for the payment of expenses for seminars and trainings were irregular.”

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, citing the testimonial and documentary pieces of evidence, concluded that Balistoy “knowingly claimed reimbursement for training expenses where no fees were entailed in the first place and used ORs issued for another purpose to claim reimbursement for the modules.”  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BALISTOY BOHOL EXPENSES FIELD INVESTIGATION OFFICE MAYOR APOLINARIA BALISTOY OF CORTES METRO MANILA OFFICE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN OMBUDSMAN OMBUDSMAN CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
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