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March 31 - April 6 (3)

By Ralph John Mijares

 

SAPIAN, CAPIZ—A former administrative aide who worked for former Sapian Mayor Arturo Orosco faces 17 charges of malversation and 17 charges of failure to render accounts because of his unliquidated travel expenses.


The municipality of Sapian represented by Edna Santiago, acting municipal accountant, filed the cases against Lani Arnz Caberte in December 2013.


Caberte, who served as Orosco’s executive assistant, had 18 separate cash advances for travel expenses in attending seminars and conferences around the Philippines from August 2009 to November 2012, totalling P216,887.04.

 

In a radio interview, Caberte said that he had liquidated part of the said expenses, and has a balance of P141,000. But he also said he was confused on the right amount he still has to liquidate.


In a seven-page resolution from the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Capiz, Caberte’s balance was P 149,959.10 after making payments on October 24 and 31, 2013.

 

In a counter-affidavit, Caberte said that he submitted documents to the municipal accounting office but because he still lacked some of them, they were not turned over to the Commission on Audit (COA).


In her complaint-affidavit, Santiago said that from January to August 2013, a total of P11,000 was withheld as sanction and as payment for his travel expenses in attending a conference at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in Olongapo City. Said amount was deducted from a check dated August 14, 2009 amounting P12,000, which was used as his budget, leaving a balance of P 1,000.


The resolution said that Caberte committed malversation because he failed to “liquidate the cash advances within the period required by law.”


It added that the Municipality of Sapian received COA Circular No. 2012-04, dated November 28, 2012 with the subject: “Demand for Immediate Liquidation and Settlement of All Cash Advances Outstanding as of December 31, 2011.”


The resolution also said that “[Caberte] could have taken necessary steps to settle all his cash advances even without any demand at all. Sadly, he just ignored it.”


It further said that though Caberte partially settled the balance, he is still liable for malversation.


It added that Caberte failed to render his accounts because he admitted that “there is a continuing liquidation (on his part).”


Citing another COA circular, it stated: “Failure of accountable officer to liquidate his outstanding cash advance on or before January 31, 2013 shall constitute cause for the filing of malversation charge under Art. 217 and failure to liquidate cash advance under Art. 218 of the Revised Penal Code.”


Caberte said that when he consulted the COA, he was advised to either liquidate or pay off the remaining balance.


In an interview, incumbent Sapian Mayor Arthur John Biñas said that the COA had nothing to do with the case. He said that Caberte should have settled the unliquidated amount with the municipal government and not the COA.


Biñas said that if only Caberte had settled the unliquidated amount a bit earlier, a case would not be filed.


The newly elected Sapian mayor said he has been seeking Caberte to come to his offi ce to settle the problem since August last year but the former administrative aide has not personally met with him.


Asked on his status, Caberte said that he filed his resignation in July but it was pending because he still had to settle his unliquidated expenses.


After Biñas assumed office in July 2013, Caberte went AWOL (absent without leave) and was later dismissed. (With reports from Edalyn Acta)

City public market to undergo facelift

Monday, 31 March 2014 00:00

ROXAS CITY—Waste management and unfixed roofing have been the problems at the Teodoro Arcenas Trade Center (TATC), the city’s public market; but recently a city offi cial said that the city government is working on it.


Ms. Carmen Andrade, interim general manager of economic enterprises, said that they will bring back the shredder used to process the market’s garbage. This was during the administration of former Roxas City mayor, now Capiz first district Rep. Antonio del Rosario.

 

If the cost of repairing the shredder would be too high and the budget is sufficient, we will buy a new shredder, Andrade said.


She added that more shredders will be purchased as the needs arise.


According to Andrade, the best alternative would be to repair the shredder or but a new one because some of the city’s garbage trucks have fallen into disrepair and the city cannot afford to purchase new trucks.


Another is to require those renewing their business licenses to attend a solid waste management seminar.


Meanwhile, the city government has allocated 2 million pesos as budget for the repair of the public market.


The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), headed by a Capiz native, Mar Roxas, also chipped in P3,110,000.


But the local government unit has to process some documents before the budget is released from the DILG.


These are the city council’s resolution authorizing the local chief executive to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the DILG; a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement duly executed by the Local Chief Executive and witnessed; and a certifi cate on the LGU trust account from a government depository bank.


Andrade said that the destroyed roof of TATC will also be repaired.


Andrade added that there are also plans to landscape the part of the Panay River facing the public market and to prohibit people from sleeping in the area. (Ralph John Mijares)

ROXAS CITY—A member of this city police’s mobile patrol jumped off a bridge to save a young girl from drowning April 1.


A resident of Dao, Capiz, PO2 Roberto Ebojo, Jr., 35, saved a five-year-old Aeta girl near the Capiz Bridge traversing the Panay River.


Ebojo said that along with his colleagues, he was at the information center when he noticed that a crowd gathered at the bridge nearby. People started pointing towards the river, Ebojo said.


When he got there, he thought that the girl who was with another girl was just playing. But when he saw the other girl trying to pull the other girl’s hair to keep her afloat, he then jumped into the river. Ebojo saved the girl and brought her to his mother.


“Wala ko ya nakulba. Amo ni amon trabaho (I was not surprised. This is part of our job)” Ebojo said in a press conference.


A member of the police for nine years, Ebojo said that he forgot to remove his cellphone, watch and wallet before diving in. But a colleague kept his weapon for him.


Despite having lost and damaging his belongings Ebojo did not mind.


“As a public servant, ok lang ya sa amon kung ano nga pagkabutang nga mawasak o madula kay material lang ina nga butang. Ang importante, makabulig kami kag makaserbisyo maayo sa mga pumuluyo sang Roxas (It doesn’t matter if my personal property is lost or damaged—they are just material things; what is more important is to be able to properly serve our constituents)” he said.


Police Supt. Julio Gustilo, Roxas City PNP chief said that Ebojo will receive a certificate of commendation signed by Roxas City Mayor Angel Alan Celino and himself. Gustilo will also recommend Ebojo for an award from the Police Regional Offi ce (PRO) 6.


On his Facebook account, Gustilo posted that Ebojo’s act “is a clear manifestation of showing his true blood as real servant of the people.” (Ralph John Mijares)