Batangas town officials sue mayor over anomalous payments
MANILA, Philippines — Several officials of Talisay town in Batangas sued Mayor Gerry Natanauan for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty on Tuesday, over allegedly anomalous payment of contractors.
In the affidavit of complaint filed at Office of the Ombudsman, the officials, led by Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan, accused mayor, who happens to be his brother, of paying contractors of the new municipal hall even if construction had been delayed.
The other complainants are Sangguniang Kabataan President Nestor Cabrera, Councilor Henry de Leon, former Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President Nestor Maala, and former Councilor Eugenio Salisi — all of Talisay’s Sangguniang Bayan, which means that they have worked with Mayor Natanauan in passing and approving the town’s annual budget.
According to them, Mayor Natanauan had already made payments amounting to P30.67 million.
“Grave misconduct was shown in the following acts […] allowing progress payments for the delayed construction of the new Municipal Hall Building amounting to P30,672,242.23. Attached as Annexes “B to B-8” are pictures of the unfinished New Municipal Hall Building,” the complaint said.
The mayor was also accused of not submitting disbursement vouchers for the construction of the municipal hall, which totals to P9.476 million.
Aside from this, the complainants also claimed that the mayor procured 22 infrastructure projects with an estimated price of P37.53 million without adhering to the Government Procurement Reform Act (Republic Act No. 9184).
The also accused the mayor of paying dealers of goods and services — like telephone connections and gasoline — through reimbursement instead of checks issued by the local government and purchasing uniforms and snacks for athletes without going through bidding.
These transactions were said to be flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) for issues and irregularities.
“Mayor Natanuan, in violation of existing laws, rules and regulations, allowed the release and payment of public funds for the anomalous transaction as found by the Office of the Commission on Audit assigned in the municipal government,” the five-page complaint read.
“The aforesaid actions of Mayor Natanuan likewise constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service punishable under the Administrative Code of 1987 and other existing laws, rules, and regulations,” it added.
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