Ex-Leyte mayor faces graft, malversation cases
MANILA — State prosecutors have formally charged a former Leyte mayor for allegedly pocketing P3.7 million in reimbursement claims on supposedly falsified pipe purchases and financial assistance.
Former Merida mayor Rodrigo Wenceslao and four other municipal officers face two counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and 22 counts of malversation before the Sandiganbayan.
The Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor said Wenceslao caused undue injury to the government by “making it appear that he is entitled to reimbursement claims” worth P3.085 million on the procurement of PE pipes (polyethelene pipes) and P600,000 on financial assistance given to several barangays.
But, prosecutors said the procurement of the pipes and the financial assistance were made without an approved appropriation, as well as supporting documents showing the barangays received the funds.
The malversation charges said 20 reimbursement checks were issued by falsifying the disbursement vouchers “through an untruthful narration” of the projects.
Meanwhile, the graft charges stated “the accused knew that said expenditure is false and attended by irregularities and fraud.”
The charge sheets added that the transactions were disallowed by the Commission on Audit on June 24, 2005.
Also charged were municipal general services officer Eflida Olaguer, municipal budget officer Josephine Mopon, municipal treasurer Nenita Ceniza, and utility worker and accounting clerk designate Rosalinda Castro.
Prosecutors recommended that bail be fixed at P30,000 for each count of graft and P200,000 for each count of malversation. This means each accused would have to post bail of P4.06 million for temporary liberty. SFM
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