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Barangay treasurer in hot water over payroll mess

By: Apple Ta-as July 14,2014 - 02:04 AM

The treasurer of barangay Ibabao in Cordova town is facing charges of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct before the municipal government’s special disciplinary board for allegedly falsifying the barangay payroll to pay “ghost” employees.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said he placed Junbert Bentulan, treasurer of barangay Ibabao, under preventive suspension for allegedly conspiring with barangay chairman Chito Bentazal in forging the signatures and receipts of payments.

He said the two men also withheld the Christmas and performance bonuses and honoraria of former barangay councilman Felix Torrentira, who filed criminal and administrative charges against Bentulan before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

Bentulan’s suspension started last June 26 and ends on Aug. 25.

The charges stemmed from a joint affidavit of five residents who denied receiving payments from the barangay.

In their joint affidavit, Dome Doroy and Joseph Ando said they saw a “time book and payroll executed May 22 this year showing that they received P200 daily and P1,000 for five days.”

The payment was made for a clean-up project that they supposedly worked on from Sept. 5 to 9, 2011.

Doroy and Ando said they never took part in any clean-up project in barangay Ibabao.

“There were signatures that were purportedly ours indicating our alleged receipt of payments of our work,” their affidavit read.

Others listed in the payroll were Roberto Limpangog, Delfen Gabunada and Jovencio Villeta who all  said they were shocked upon learning that they, too, received payment for the project.

Former councilman Ronelio Bentulan also issued a sworn statement saying that Bentulan erroneously declared the amount spent for drummers, props and others for the town’s participation in the 2011 and 2012 Dinagat Festival.

“The Dinagat prizes and eGwen prizes of 2011 and 2012 were received by Cordova from Cebu province after the fiesta on Aug. 16, 2011 and 2012 but the reimbursements for expense receipts bear the dates of Aug. 14, 2011 and Aug. 10, 2012,” Bentulan said.

Bentulan, who was the choreographer for the Cordova contingent in the 2011 and 2012 Dinagat festivals, said contrary to Junbert’s claims, only P10,000 and not P20,000, was spent each for the drummers and props.

In his reply-affidavit, Junbert said it was the relatives and children of Doroy, Ando, Limpangog, Gabunada and Villeta “who brought the payroll and time book” to them for signing.

He also said there was no “antedating nor misdoings committed on the funds” spent for the Cordova contingent in the 2011 and 2012 Dinagat festival, since the amounts reflected on the receipts were spent from “his own pocket”.

Junbert said he was later reimbursed from the eGwen prizes received by the barangay.

He also described as “blatant lies” Torrentira’s claims that he was made to sign a blank receipt in order to receive his benefits.

“My office is ready to release his unclaimed salary provided he sign the payrolls,” Junbert said.


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TAGS: barangay, Cordova, fiscal management, suspension

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