Unliquidated cash advances bring trouble for ex-Cebu mayor
14 August 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing before the Sandiganbayan of four counts of Failure to Render Accounts (Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code) against ex-San Remigio, Cebu mayor Jay Olivar.
Case investigation showed that in 2011, Olivar received a total of P585,000.00 in cash advances for various expenses for its anti-illegal drugs campaign, Christmas celebration, Suroy-Suroy Sugbo and supplies. Despite the lapse of several years, the cash advances remain unaccounted for.
In his attempt to explain the failure to liquidate public funds, Olivar claimed that he tasked a job order employee to prepare the liquidation documents. However, due to his many tasks, the job order employee failed to complete the documentation when Olivar’s term ended in 2013. The mayor also asserted that the local government was busy in its programs and projects especially after typhoon Yolanda.
According to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, the defenses raised by Olivar are “self-serving and unsubstantiated. As the accountable officer, respondent should have been vigilant in processing his liquidation; or if he devolved the task to other persons, he should have exercised efficient control and supervision to ensure timely liquidation of his cash advances.”
The Ombudsman reiterated that under Commission on Audit Circular 97-002, all petty operating expenses and field operating expenses shall be liquidated within 20 days after the end of the year. In this case, the 2011 cash advances were still reported to be outstanding as of 30 June 2015.
“Clearly, from the grant of cash advances in 2011, respondent’s failure to liquidate as of 30 June 2015 speaks volumes of his criminal transgression,” stated Ombudsman Morales.
Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes an accountable public officer, whether in the service or separated therefrom, who is required by law or regulation to render accounts to the Commission on Audit, or to a provincial auditor, and fails to do so for a period of two months after such accounts should be rendered. ###