Complaint filed vs Andales over transportation allowance
Why was Cebu City Councilor Sisinio Andales collecting from City Hall a monthly transportation allowance when he was already using a service vehicle issued to him by the city government?
Nine Cebu City councilors affiliated with the opposition Barug Team Rama want Andales of Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) to answer for this alleged “indisputable” dishonesty, grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct.
An administrative complaint was filed, Tuesday, against Andales by Councilors Jocelyn Pesquera, Jose Daluz III, Eduardo Rama Jr., James Anthony Cuenco, Philip Zafra, Raymond Alvin Garcia, Joel Garganera, Pastor Alcover Jr. and incoming councilor Renato “Junjun” Osmeña at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG -7).
“In the Philippines, it is a well-established rule that no government official or officer who is already receiving a transportation allowance from a government agency or instrumentality shall receive or use a motor vehicle from the same government agency or instrumentality,” a portion of their eight-page complaint read.
The complaint cited a 1992 Supreme Court (SC) decision on Bustamante vs. Commission on Audit and Caburian, where the SC ruled that no official furnished motor transportation allowance by any government entity shall be allowed to use motor vehicles at the same time.
According to the councilors, Andales, being a practicing lawyer, should have known this.
As proof of Andales’ alleged violation, the councilors presented a September 27, 2016 letter from Department of General Services (DGS) head Ronaldo Malacora which said that Andales was issued and had accepted a Toyota Fortuner government service vehicle on July 13, 2016.
An October 4, 2016 letter from City Accountant Arlene Rentuza was also attached to the complaint.
Rentuza’s letter stated that Andales was on the list of officials who received representation and transportation allowances (Rata) from the city from July to September 2016. The document showed Andales received P8,500 per month or a total of P25,500 for the three months.
“Public funds in the form of monthly Transportation Allowance were illegally taken by Respondent Cebu City Councilor Sisinio Andales, a high-ranking local government official, as he was already using a government-issued Toyota Fortuner service vehicle,” the complaint read.
Saying that the evidence of guilt was “quite strong and obvious”, the Team Rama councilors want the Office of the President to impose the penalty of “maximum preventive suspension” against Andales.
Sought for comment, Andales refused to issue any statement saying that he had yet to receive an official copy of the complaint.
He also neither confirmed nor denied the claim that he received both a service vehicle and transportation allowance from City Hall.
However, he questioned the opposition councilors’ motive behind the filing of the case.
“Why now? What’s with this timing? Is there a political motivation behind this? These are things I have to look into. I will also see if their documents are correct or not,” Andales told Cebu Daily News.
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