A resident of Barangay Handumanan, Bacolod City, filed criminal and administrative charges against Brgy. Captain Ricardo Danoy Sr. and four other barangay officials before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for malversation of public funds and falsification of public documents resulting to the release of the monthly honoraria of a kagawad despite her absence for four months.
Included in the complaint filed by Danilo Depa, president of the Parents-Teachers Community Association of Handumanan National High School, are Handumanan Kagawads Josephine Lopez and Sofia Tanallon and Barangay Treasurer Cecilia Espinosa and Barangay Secretary Merle Cataluna.
In his complaint, Depa said the Barangay Council of Handumanan passed a Resolution on Oct. 2, 2008 which authorized Espinosa to withdraw P132,026 from Land Bank of the Philippines, together with a payroll showing that the amount is for payment of all barangay officials, including Tanallon, who was on vacation in London, England at that time.
He said Tanallon filed her application for leave on Sept. 16, 2008 with the office of Danoy. The application which Danoy approved covered Oct. 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009 for 80 days leave with pay, he said.
Depa said Kagawads Herman Garcia and Ma. Febe Legaspi inquired from acting Bacolod Interior and Local Government director Victorio Pagapulan about the inclusion of the name of Tanallon in the payroll and if she is entitled to her honoraria during her leave of absence.
Pagapulan wrote the kagawads that Tanallon is not entitled to receive her honoraria and that application for authority to travel abroad of all other elective officials should be approved by the DILG Secretary when the trip exceeds more than three months, he said.
Depa said that Danoy, Tanallon, and Lopez, as chairperson of the Committee on Appropriation, have allegedly conspired with Espinosa as barangay treasurer in the misappropriation of public funds in her custody.
He also said that Danoy, who certified in the payroll that Tanallon had rendered services from Oct. 1-30, 2008, and for the months of November 2008 to January 2009 is guilty of the crime of falsification of public documents on four counts and is administratively liable for grave abuse of discretion, grave abuse of authority, and grave misconduct.
Depa, on the other hand, said Tanallon is administratively liable for traveling abroad in excess of three months without authority to travel abroad from the DILG Secretary.
He said Lopez despite her advance knowledge that Tanallon had left for London, has illegally and unwittingly allowed the release of P132,162 representing the honoraria of all barangay officials and that her act of passing Resolution No. 26 renders her administratively liable.
Depa said Cataluna had also certified as correct in the Resolution that Tanallon was present from October 2008 to January 2009 which Danoy also attested to the truthfulness of the entries in the resolution, each bearing a total monthly honoraria of all barangay officials - P132,162; P135,441 and P135,441, respectively, that makes both of them liable for falsification of public documents.
The respondents could not be reached as of press time last night.*CGS