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Sandiganbayan convicts officials of Batuan, Bohol
« on: November 17, 2017, 02:31:16 PM »
Sandiganbayan convicts officials of Batuan, Bohol
14 December 2011

source: Ombudsman Website - The Office of the Ombudsman secured the conviction of two ranking local officials of the municipality of Batuan, Bohol who unlawfully disbursed public funds in the amount of more than P250,000 from 1993 to 1997.
          In a 56-page decision, the Sandiganbayan sentenced Necitas Dumagan Jr., former mayor of Batuan, Bohol and his co-accused, former municipal treasurer Primitivo Digamon from six years and one month to 10 years imprisonment and six months for each of the nine counts of Violation of RA 3019 ( Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act)  and an indeterminate sentence of 12 years to 20 years imprisonment for two counts of Malversation of Public Funds (Art. 217 of the Revised Penal Code).
          They were also ordered to pay jointly and severally a total of P256,823 in actual damages, fine of P34,612.95 with perpetual special disqualification.
          In addition, Digamon  was sentenced from six years and one month to 10 years imprisonment and six months for another count of Violation of RA 3019 due to a check he fraudulently released where he was the single signatory. He was also ordered to jointly and severally pay the amount of P50,000 as actual damages.
          A letter-complaint was earlier filed before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas requesting for an “immediate investigation of check disbursements” which were allegedly issued without vouchers for the said period.         
         During investigation, the municipal treasurer did not submit vouchers or payrolls to support the fund releases despite demand letters forwarded to him in 2001.         
          He also failed to account for why none of the released checks were recorded in the General Fund ledger.
          In the decision penned by Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, the Anti-Graft Court’s Fifth Division said “being public officers, they are aware that their signatures in the said checks were indispensable before any disbursement and release of public funds.”
          The Court said that instead of presenting supporting evidence, “Digamon simply resorted to general statements that the checks were drawn to defray salaries of employees, supplies and materials and various projects of the municipality while Dumagan plainly maintained that the checks were properly supported by vouchers when they were presented for his signature.”
          Thus, according to the Anti-Graft Court, the Office of the Ombudsman’s Prosecution Team led by Assistant Special Prosecutor III Froilan Dayco “has established a valid inference of misappropriation for the failure of [the two] accused to account for the disbursement of said checks.”
          Concurring with the decision were Associate Justices Roland Jurado and Napoleon Inoturan.

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Romans 10:9-10
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