CPA employee ordered jailed for malversation of funds
A cashier of the Cebu Ports Authority was convicted for misappropriating P15, 817.70 in office funds.
Romeo Pañares was meted with imprisonment of 10 to 14 years and a penalty of perpetual special disqualification or a disqualification from holding similar offices or employment during the term of the sentence and according to the extent of such disqualification.
A copy of the court decision on Pañares’ case was posted on the website of the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday.
Cebu Daily News called CPA landline to get Pañares’ statement but failed to reached him.
Judge Generosa Labra of Branch 23 of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City said in her order that “the prosecution was able to establish proof beyond reasonable doubt of the existence of the elements of the crime hurled against the accused.”
She added that “an accountable officer may be convicted of malversation even if there is no direct evidence of misappropriation and the only evidence is that there is a shortage in his accounts which he has not been able to explain satisfactorily.”
“In the case at bar, the prosecution was able to prove that accused incurred shortage in his collection in the amount of P15,817.70 and that he failed to explain or justify the said shortage, thus, he is presumed to have misappropriated the amount.”
Pañares’ case stemmed from the findings of lawyer Chona Labrague of the Commission on Audit in Central Visayas (COA-7) on the shortage of CPA funds.
On 17 March 2006, COA sent a demand letter asking Pañares to explain the fund shortage. He instead denied the accusation and insisted that there was no funding shortage in their office, which led to the filing of a complaint against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Labra said in her decision that “as shown in the (COA) team’s fact-finding inquiry report, the accused intentionally made it appear in the records that his total collections balanced with his total deposits each month.”
“A detailed look on each of the collections and its corresponding remittance showed that the accused incessantly, through lapping of collections, and deposits made it appear that his cash collections on the previous day were deposited the following day, by depositing checks of the same amount which he had collected on the same day they were deposited, thus concealing his failure to deposit his cash collections that eventually resulted to his failure to remit the amount.”
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.