Manila Barangay execs convicted over gas reimbursements
24 April 2017
Former Chairman Lara Mae Reyes and Treasurer Stephanie Belle Maño of Barangay 748, Zone 81, District V, Manila have been convicted for illegally claiming reimbursements for gasoline expenses in 2004 worth
P10,000.00. Investigation found that the vehicle was already unserviceable and considered as junk.
In a Decision rendered by Presiding Judge Marlina Manuel of the Manila Regional Trial Court, Branch 25, Reyes and Maño were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, in which they were meted out the penalty of six years to 10 years imprisonment with perpetual disqualification from holding public office. The duo was also convicted of four counts of Malversation of Public Funds Through Falsification and were sentenced to six to 13 years imprisonment with perpetual special disqualification. In addition, Reyes and Maño were ordered to pay a fine of
P2,500.00 for each count of the offense.
Ombudsman prosecutors proved during the trial that the accused displayed evident bad faith by fraudulently claiming reimbursements of
P2,500.00 per quarter purportedly used for a jeep-type patrol vehicle. The court observed that “the receipts submitted by the accused in support of their claim for reimbursement, indeed, do not show the vehicle in which the gasoline was loaded.”
“Accused admitted that they were the ones who prepared and signed the Disbursement Vouchers and the documents in support of their claim for reimbursement and that they received the amount. In the absence of proof that they had actually used the barangay funds as indicated in the Disbursement Voucher, they are culpable for misappropriation or malversation of such funds,” the court added.
Malversation is committed by a public official who has custody or control of public funds by reason of the duties of his office and misappropriates, takes, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take the funds, while Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 provides that public officials are criminally liable for causing any undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.###