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Former Cebu disbursing officer convicted of malversation
from Office of the Ombudsman 31 October 2013

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas successfully secured the conviction of Buenaventura C. Rabuya, a former Cash Disbursing Officer of the Cebu Provincial Treasurer’s Office, for Malversation of Public Funds.

          In a 16-page Decision of Presiding Judge Bienvenido R. Saniel Jr., of the Cebu Regional Trial Court, Branch 20, Rabuya, was found guilty of Malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code and was sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of eight years and one day of prison mayor in its minimum period to reclusion perpetua as maximum with accessory penalty of perpetual special disqualification and a fine.

          Rabuya’s case arose from his P57,505.02 shortage of SEF Funds discovered after the Commission on Audit (COA) Cash Examination on 20 December 1994.  On trial, he contended that the shortage was erroneous and that there was no evidence that such alleged shortage was used for his personal use and benefit.

          The OMB-Visayas Prosecution Bureau proved in court that Rabuya, as a public officer entrusted with the custody and control of public funds, failed to explain and account his shortage of P57,505.02.

          The court stressed that an accountable officer may be convicted of Malversation even if there is no direct evidence of misappropriation and the only evidence is that there is a shortage in the officer’s account which he has not been able to explain satisfactorily.

          This is the second conviction of Rabuya as the OMB-Visayas also previously secured his conviction in another separate case of Malversation out of his shortage amounting to P612,561.54

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