MANILA, Nov 13 (Mabuhay) – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of three officials of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat over the alleged unlawful disbursement and withdrawal of public funds amounting to P13 million.
In a nine-page decision recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Palimbang municipal treasurer Francis Nadar, municipal accountant Zaida Apil and municipal budget officer Pukog Makakua were found guilty of administrative charge of Grave Misconduct for allegedly facilitating the disbursement of checks as well as their withdrawal without the necessary certifications and other supporting documents.
“Respondents Nadar, Apil and Makakua should have complied with the documentary requirements and rendered their accounts in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Commission on Audit,” the decision read.
Aside from their dismissal, the three officials were also meted with the accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement benefits, cancellation of eligibility and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in the government service.
Based on the records of the Ombudsman, the three officials, from April to June 2010, facilitated the issuance of seven checks totaling P13 million payable to Nadar. The Ombudsman said the checks were drawn from the municipality’s checking account.
The Ombudsman said that at the course of its investigation, it was uncovered that the disbursements did not represent any project or appropriation and that no documents or records supported the withdrawals.
The Ombudsman also noted a Commission on Audit (COA) report saying the checks were not submitted for post-audit.
Among required documents that the respondents failed to submit, according to the Ombudsman, were certifications from the local budget officer as to the existence and validity of the appropriation; from the local accountant as to the legal obligation incurred by the appropriation; from the local treasurer as to the availability of funds; and from the local department head as to the validity, propriety and legality of the claim against the appropriation.
“None of these certifications were submitted by respondents,” the Ombudsman said in its decision. (MNS)