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Title: Ombudsman finds basis to probe mayor, 3 others
Post by: MIKELIGALIG.com on January 18, 2017, 03:54:38 PM
Ombudsman finds basis to probe mayor, 3 others
Published: December 17, 2006 by The Bohol Standard

The Ombudsman-Visayas has found enough basis to proceed with the criminal, administrative investigation of the cases filed against Loon Mayor Cesar Tomas “Yul” Lopez and three others who allegedly defrauded the municipal government by falsifying fourteen (14) monthly payrolls and daily time records of high school teachers from August 2004 to September 2005.

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Primo C. Miro, through Director Edgardo G. Canton, in an order dated October 30, 2006, required the mayor and the three co-respondents to file their counter-affidavit within ten (10) days from receipt of the order.

Failure to answer as directed within the period prescribed by the rules shall be deemed a waiver of the right to present party’s counter-affidavit or reply-affidavit and the investigation shall proceed according to existing rules.

Respondents are also required to indicate their complete name, official designation-position, salary grade and residential address

Miro warned that a motion to dismiss, motion for bill of particulars and similar dilatory tactics are prohibited and shall be stricken off the records of the case.

Mayor Lopez who is about to end his three-term rule in Loon, was cited by seven taxpayers, for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A 3019).

Charged with the mayor are three other persons: acting treasurer Teofista Marilla in her role as disbursing officer, Hannah Lee Mejorada, a municipal paid high school teacher who prepared the payrolls and Aida Panis, a teacher from the Department of Education, Division of Bohol assigned as school principal in the Loon South High School located in barangay Cuasi of the same town.

In an earlier phone interview, Mayor Lopez said he was betrayed by his trusted aide Mejorada and it took him a long time to notice the insertion in the payroll.

But complainants alleged that Mayor Lopez and his three co-accused conspired in falsifying payrolls that included a name of a teacher, a certain Merlyn P. Rebucas, that went on indefinite leave starting August 23, 2004 and had not returned to her teaching job; - but was still included in the payroll up to September 2005, or a total of fourteen months.

Teachers of the Loon South High School are all appointed by Lopez, paid by municipal Special Education Funds (SEF), with the exception of the DepEd-assigned school principal.

Mejorada, an appointee of the municipal mayor was the one assigned to prepare the payrolls of the teachers while Panis, the Dep Ed-assigned school principal of the same school signed all the fourteen payrolls certifying to the effect that absentee-teacher Rebucas actually rendered services as teacher in said school during all those months.

“Being the school principal, Panis should know that in truth and in fact she (Rebucas) already had stopped working,” the complainants said.

Acting treasurer Marilla allowed Mejorada to collect and receive the salaries of all teachers of said school, including the salaries of the absentee Rebucas, without personally witnessing the teachers-payee affix their signatures on the fourteen monthly payrolls.

The monthly daily time records of all the teachers that are found attached to the payrolls and used as basis for computing their salaries also showed that they worked on Saturdays during those fourteen months but they allegedly “did not hold classes” on said Saturdays.

Affidavits of Rebucas and other co-teachers, the questionable payrolls and daily time records were attached to the letter complaint now docketed by the Ombudsman Visayas as “Cesar Tomas M. Lopez, et. al.”; OMB-V Criminal Case No. 06-0492-J and OMB-V Administrative Case No. 06-0535-J.

Citing a strong evidence of guilt, complainants asked that the four respondents be ordered suspended and a “Hold Departure Order” be issued for all of them.

Signing as the complainants are Loon residents Alexander Remoreras, Cristino Sablas, Jacinto La Fuente, Eutropio Pizarras, Josefina Gumop-as, Allan Monredondo and Andresa Paloso.
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