Om­buds clear ex-coun­cilor of unliq­ui­dated cash ad­vance

The Freeman - - NEWS - GAN — Mylen P. Manto/

For lack of prob­a­ble cause, the Of­fice of the Om­buds­man­Visayas has cleared a for­mer coun­cilor of Com­postela, Cebu for his al­leged fail­ure to liq­ui­date his out­stand­ing cash ad­vance.

Graft In­ves­ti­ga­tion and Pros­e­cu­tion Of­fi­cer II Maria Ber­nadeth An­dal-Subaan dis­missed the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed against Duque Arceo for vi­o­la­tion of Ar­ti­cle 218 (fail­ure of ac­count­able of­fi­cer to ren­der ac­counts) of the Re­vised Pe­nal Code.

“The Of­fice finds the ev­i­dence on record in­suf­fi­cient to con­clude that re­spon­dent in­deed failed to liq­ui­date or ren­der an ac­count within the pe­riod re­quired by law,” the res­o­lu­tion reads.

Sec­tion 5.1.3 of Com­mis­sion on Au­dit Cir­cu­lar No. 97-002 re­quires the ac­count­able of­fi­cer to liq­ui­date within 30 days af­ter his re­turn to of­fice the cash ad­vance granted to him for his of­fi­cial lo­cal travel ex­penses.

In their com­plaint, Field In­ves­ti­ga­tion Of­fice of the Of­fice of the Om­buds­man­Visayas al­leged Arceo failed to liq­ui­date his out­stand­ing cash ad­vance in the amount of P15,882.

On March 11, 2008, Arceo was granted a cash ad­vance of P16,400 for reg­is­tra­tion fee and trav­el­ling ex­penses to Manila to at­tend Philip­pine Coun­cilors League (PCL) con­ven­tion. It al­leged only P518 was ac­counted for.

De­mand let­ters were sent to Arceo di­rect­ing him to set­tle his unliq­ui­dated cash ad­vance, but failed.

In his counter-af­fi­davit, Arceo de­nied re­ceiv­ing the de­mand let­ters and hav­ing out­stand­ing cash ad­vance.

Af­ter his re­turn to of­fice within the pe­riod of 30 days, he claimed he pre­pared his plane tick­ets, of­fi­cial re­ceipts and other re­lated doc­u­ments and trans­mit­ted the same to mu­nic­i­pal trea­surer Lorenzo Almodiel.

With the fore­go­ing facts, Subaan ruled in fa­vor of Arceo.

“The Of­fice is in­clined to be­lieve re­spon­dent’s sin­cer­ity in mak­ing full set­tle­ment of his cash ad­vances by pay­ing the amount of P15,882. His lack of crim­i­nal in­tent to vi­o­late Ar­ti­cle 218 of the RPC may be given cre­dence and the crim­i­nal com­plaint against him be ac­cord­ingly dis­missed,” the res­o­lu­tion reads, adding the ab­sence of any proof that de­mand let­ters were sent to Arceo cre­ates doubt.

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