Ombuds Hacks Monico Too
If the Ombudsman Visayas has denied for lack of merit the three separate motions for reconsideration filed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and nine other city officials regarding alleged overpriced furniture and fixtures in the new government center, it also indicted former Mayor Monico Puentevella for graft and malversation in connection with the P21.56 million SEA Games unliquidated funds alloted for the city’s hosting of the 2005 South East Asian Games.
Rappler.com reported that the resolution approved by Ombudsman Conchita Morales, noted that Puentevella has deposited into his personal bank account the P50 million released by the Department of Budget and Managemet (DBM) to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for hosting the 23rd SEA Games, for which the PSC transferred the fund to the Bacolod South East Asian Games organizing Committee (BASOC) as of 2011, P21,565,832.50 remained unsettled. The Ombudsman noted that depositing the funds in Puentevella’s personal account, he had absolute custody and control of and responsibility for the funds. His failure to liquidate the said amount which was under his custody and control, despite demands and lapse of several years from the time of liquidation was due, would lead to the conclusion that he had used the funds for his personal benefit.
The Commission on Audit rejected the liquidation documents of Puentevella because of non-compliance to the standard procedures, that Puentevella submitted his personal vouchers and mere photocopies of invoices and contracts, Rappler.com reported.
Meanwhile, Leonardia said the Ombudsman decision stated that there is no overprice, no conspiracy and no dishonesty in the transaction of furniture and fixtures in the NGC. “We believe the government employees involved here of their innocence,” the Mayor said. He also expressed pity on them, but this is one of the hazards of their jobs.* (Edith B.Colmo)