Visayas Ombudsman dismissed graft case vs Alcoy treasurer
The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas has thrown out the cases filed against the engineer of Alcoy town in southern Cebu who was earlier accused of failing to liquidate his P15,524 cash advance in a span of eight years.
Graft investigation and prosecution officer Portia Pacquiao said there was no sufficient basis to indict Neilo Teo who, upon learning about the unliquidated cash advance last year, immediately accounted for the funds. “Respondent, in good faith, has fully liquidated his cash advances.
As such, there is no violation of any law or failure to give attention to a task that can be attributed to respondent so as to hold him liable,” said the investigator in a ruling dated August 31, 2017.
The issue stemmed from a complaint filed by Graft Prevention and Control Officer I Francis Santiago of the Visayas Ombudsman against Teo for allegedly failing to liquidate his 2006 cash advance.
Teo was earlier accused of malversation of public funds, failure of accountable officer to render accounts, grave misconduct, and neglect of duty. In his counter-affidavit, Teo stated that for more than 20 years in service as municipal engineer, he has never been involved, dragged, or accused of any graft or corrupt practices.
He said he could not recall having received any written notice from the Office of the Municipal Accountant for him to liquidate cash advances.
However, in 2016, he found out from the new municipal accountant that he had an unliquidated cash advance in 2006. Upon learning about it, Teo said he immediately liquidated the cash advance.
Based on their investigation, Pacquiao said there was no indication that Teo misappropriated public funds. “The funds obtained by respondent were in the form of cash advances which were disbursed for a particular purpose and were not shown to have been used by respondent for his personal benefit,” she said.
“Also, mere delay in the liquidation of the cash advance is not sufficient proof of conversion; neither is the mere failure of the public officer to turn over the funds at any given time sufficient to make even a prima facie case for malversation of public funds,” she added.
— Cebu Daily News erroneously reported in its Nov. 12, 2017 online post that Teo was dismissed from service. Our sincere apologies./
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