Bulacan governor, others sued for plunder | Inquirer News

Bulacan governor, others sued for plunder

Sy-Alvarado calls charges ‘early politicking,’ dares foes to face him
/ 12:16 AM February 20, 2014

CITY OF MALOLOS, Philippines—A resident in Bulacan province has accused  Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and six other provincial government officials of graft and plunder for alleged misuse, conversion and misappropriation of government funds.

In a complaint filed in the Office of the Ombudsman, Antonio Manganti, a resident of Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) town, sued Alvarado; Belinda Bartolome, provincial treasurer; Marina Flores, provincial budget officer; Marites Friginal, provincial accountant; Arlene Pascual, provincial planning and development officer; Jim Valerio, provincial administrator; and Marina Sarmiento, head of the provincial general services office.

But Alvarado denied the charges and called the filing as a form of political harassment.


“Who is this Manganti? Why can’t the politicians behind him appear and sue me instead? This is early politicking for the 2016 elections,” he told Inquirer by telephone.


Records from the Bulacan government’s human resources office showed that Manganti is a rebel returnee and a former security agent at the provincial capitol during the term of former Gov. Joselito Mendoza. Manganti resigned in 2009.

In the complaint, Manganti cited observations raised in a Commission on Audit report on the provincial government’s fund use for 2012.

The report cited the delayed preparation of bank statements, irregularity in the use and replenishment of petty cash funds and unliquidated cash advances of more than P200 million made to 25 officers and employees.

Bulk of the unliquidated funds as of Dec. 31, 2012 represented accumulated confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) totaling P197.56 million.

The report also cited more than P60 million worth of collections that were not recorded within the required period and P6 million worth of unremitted withholding taxes from employees and suppliers.

Manganti’s complaint also questioned the increase in the number of casual, job order and contractual employees in 2012, which included consultants who were high school graduates and church members.


He also accused the officials of diverting more than P10 million in the provincial government’s Special Education Fund (SEF) and using the money for donations.

Alvarado said he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint.

But he belied Manganti’s accusations, saying the provincial government had liquidated its cash advances.

“We have liquidated that [obligation] because we will not be able to get a cash advance if we fail to liquidate previous advances,” he said.

Alvarado said other issues raised by Manganti, like the increase in the number of employees, had been raised even before the 2013 elections.

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“It is easy to file cases in the Ombudsman. But the question is, ‘Are these charges true?’” he said.  Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon

TAGS: Bulacan, corruption, News, Plunder, Politics, Regions

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