Former Agusan Del Norte Mayor charged over unliquidated funds

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Former Remedios Agusan del Norte  Mayor Teresita Soliva of Remedios Romualdez, is facing charges before the Sandiganbayan for Malversation and 10 counts of Failure to liquidate P991,668.58 cash advances.

Investigation disclosed that from April 2004 to May 2007, respondent received a total of P991,668.58 as cash advances for travel expenses, peace and order expenses, and confidential and intelligence funds. Partial payments were made by the mayor after receiving a series of demand letters.

According to the complaint filed by the Commission on Audit Regional Office No. XIII, only P551,000.00 is supported by cash advance vouchers as the others could no longer be located. Ten cash advances totaling P551,000.00 issued to Soliva in January to May 2007, remain unliquidated and unaccounted for.

In its Resolution, the Ombudsman stated that “all the elements are present. Respondent was an accountable officer who, by pertinent rules and regulations, was duty-bound to liquidate to COA her cash advances. She, however, failed to liquidate the cash advances within two months after the same should have been liquidated.”

The crime of Malversation is committed by a public officer who has custody or control of public funds or property by reason of the duties of the office, and for which he is accountable and he appropriated, took or misappropriated or consented or, through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take them. On the other hand, Failure to Render Account is committed by a public officer who is required by law to render accounts and fails to do so for a period of two months after such accounts should be rendered.-EZC/Newsline.ph

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