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Former Mayor in Pangasinan, Treasurer Convicted
« on: December 25, 2017, 10:19:25 PM »
Ex-Pangasinan mayor convicted of malversation of public funds
07 June 2013 - Press Release Ombudsman

THE Office of the Ombudsman scored another victory after the Sandiganbayan convicted a former mayor and a municipal treasurer in Tayug, Pangasinan of malversation charges for misappropriating public funds worth P787, 700 in 2001.

In a 19-page Decision penned by Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada and concurred in by Associate Justices Efren De La Cruz and Rafael Lagos, the anti-graft court’s First Division found former mayor Marius Ladio and OIC-municipal treasurer Virgilio Arquero guilty of Malversation of Public Funds (Article 217, Revised Penal Code) for misusing the amount of P787, 700 by means of “vales/ IOUs/ chits.”
 The Court meted Ladio and Arquero  “to suffer the indeterminate penalty of 10 years and one day of prision mayor as minimum, to 18 years, 8 months and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum, to pay a fine of Php787,700, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and the penalty of perpetual special disqualification to hold public office and other accessory penalties provided by law, to indemnify, jointly and severally, the municipal of Tayug, Pangasinan, the malversed amount…with legal interest from the finality [of the decision] until the same is fully paid, and to pay the cost.

At the trial, Ladio admitted that he actually took the amount (which was included in the Php3,678,247.34 shortage of accused Arquero) which he withdrew from the daily collections of the municipal treasurer through “vales/ IOUs/ chits” that he issued/ executed and included in the lists attached to the Commission on Audit (COA) Report.

He, however, denied that he spent the said amount for his personal use. He said the money was utilized on the various projects of the municipality such as the re-graveling/ rehabilitation of barangay roads destroyed by typhoons, and delivery of various construction materials.

In the decision, the Court held that the report presented by Ladio does not substantiate his claim that he disbursed or used his personal funds when he undertook the various municipal projects.

“It is to be noted that on cross-examination, [accused Ladio] admitted that because of the problems that he encountered during his term of office as municipal mayor to procure funds for the development of his municipality, he was able to procure from then President Estrada the amount of Php1M for the 100% concreting of the barangay roads of Barangay Evangelista. By this admission, it is clear that the funds used for the repair/ rehabilitation of the barangay roads of Barangay Evangelista road came from then President Estrada and not from his personal fund,” the Decision stated.

The Court added that without Arquero’s cooperation/ acquiescence in the release of the public funds, the illegal disbursement could not have been made possible or committed by Ladio.

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