THE Office of the Ombudsman has charged three Department of Education (DepEd) personnel for various counts of estafa, attempted estafa, and violations of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The anti-graft office indicted DepEd Talisay City Division Education Program Supervisor Sisinia Villaver-Vasquez, and Talisay City public school teachers Carmen Villaver of Mohon Elementary School and Emily Villaver of Lawaan 3 Elementary School.
The Villavers’ case stemmed from a complaint filed by a certain Maria Lourdes Labis-Ipong last September 25, 2014.
According to Ipong, the three conspired and used her name to extort money from several teacher-applicants purportedly as “thanksgiving” in exchange for their appointments and to facilitate their application as permanent teachers.
In their counter affidavit, sisters Villaver-Vasquez and C. Villaver denied the allegations, saying that these were mere products of Ipong’s “imagination” coupled with threats on newly hired teachers that they would be facing charges if they would not execute affidavits against them.
Their cousin, E. Villaver, meanwhile, failed to file her own counter-affidavit.
In its 20-page resolution dated November 25, 2016, the anti-graft office gave weight to the accounts of five teacher-applicants who claimed that the Villavers lured them into paying between P2,500 to P15,000 to help them land jobs as teachers.
Three applicants also testified that P50,000 was demanded from each of them in exchange for regular teaching positions though they did not pay the amount.
Graft investigator Eleanor Tayad-De Mira charged Villaver-Vasquez with eight counts of violations of RA 6713, five counts of estafa by means of deceit, and three counts of attempted estafa.
C. Villaver, on the other hand, was indicted for four counts of violations of RA 6713, one count of estafa by means of deceit, and three counts of attempted estafa.
E. Villaver was charged with three counts of violations of RA 6713 and three counts of estafa by means of deceit.
“The Office finds that the positive and categorical declaration of the teacher-applicants that respondents on different occasions demanded money from them in exchange for facilitating their application / appointments for teacher positions or in exchange for a certificate relating to computer literacy skills prevail over the negative allegations or denial of respondents,” read the resolution.
“Complainant did not authorize respondents to collect or solicit any amount from the teacher-applicants. Respondents’ false pretenses were the primary consideration which induced teacher-applicants to part with their respective monies,” it added.
Calls were made to the DepEd-Talisay to verify if the Villavers were still connected with the office, but officials refused to comment on the matter, saying that they had yet to receive a copy of the resolution and considered the matter “confidential”.
DepEd Talisay also refused to answer questions on who Ipong, the recorded complainant, was.