Bodyguard disappears with P3.4-M Xmas bonus for Bicol town
NAGA CITY — A bodyguard assigned to the municipal treasurer of Tinambac town in Camarines Sur province went missing with P3.4 million cash intended for the Christmas bonus of the town’s employees and officials, authorities said Wednesday.
Senior Police Officer 2 Tobias Bongon, spokesperson of the Naga City police, said suspect Melchor Abrazado disappeared with the cash after it was withdrawn from the LandBank of the Philippines branch in this city at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Bongon said treasurer Ma. Teresa Betito reported the incident almost two hours after Abrazado disappeared with the cash.
Quoting Betito, Bongon said she entrusted the money to Abrazado since he had accompanied her several times before in withdrawing money for the municipal government.
Abrazado supposedly left to look for their driver after the withdrawal when he disappeared, Betito told police.
The treasurer said she found their service vehicle and driver near the bank but not Abrazado. The driver said that he did not see the bodyguard. They called up Abrazado on his cellular phone but it was unattended and was later turned off.
Betito said she did not immediately report the incident to the police to avoid a scandal and instead called Tinambac Mayor Ruel Tuy who told her to report to the authorities.
Tuy said Abrazado had been an administrative assistant for 18 years under the Office of the Mayor and had served under several mayors. Due to Abrazado’s clean record, Tuy retained his services when he became mayor.
Tuy said Abrazado’s family had been informed of the incident and a police task force had been dispatched to look for him.
He said 115 regular employees and the elected officials of Tinambac are affected by the disappearance of Abrazado and the funds. /cbb
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