Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas has docketed the criminal
complaint filed by Samuel Montoyo against former Bacolod Rep. and now
Mayor Monico Puentevella on the case involving the Bacolod
Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee fund amounting to about
P37.4 million, as OMB-V-C-14-0249.
A letter dated June 20 signed by Sarah Jo Vergara, OIC Central Records
Management Office, in behalf of Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas
Pelagio Apostol, said the case will be assigned to an
Montoyo, convenor of the Save Bacolod Movement, filed the complaint
against Puentevella as former chairman of the BASOC, for alleged
violation of Articles 217, 218 and 220 of the Revised Penal Coded, and
also under RA 3019 paragraph 3, with prayer for his preventive
suspension from public office in relation to RA 6770.
In his complaint, Montoyo said that, in connection with the hosting of
the SEA Games in Bacolod in November 2005, the Philippines Sports
Commission issued in favor of BASOC and/or Puentevella four government
checks coming from public funds in the total sum of P50.5 million.
He said Puentevella, without regard for the proper disposition of
public funds, allegedly deposited all the government checks to his own
personal and private account No. 1422-158630 at the Rizal Commercial
Banking Corporation (Bacolod Shopping Branch).
The Commission on Audit had demanded twice for his accounting of the
funds which he failed to comply with, or cannot completely account for,
especially because he allegedly deposited all of it to his personal and
private bank account, Montoyo said.
The second demand letter already contained the COA’s findings on how
Puentevella misappropriated and/or malversed public funds of P50.5
million or the substantial portion of it which still runs in millions
of pesos, he said.
Montoyo said the total amount of public funds allegedly misappropriated
by Puentevella under Art.217 of the RPC is about P37,457,143.63 and if
technical malversation as stated under Article 220 is considered,
Puentevella committed such crime involving P1,979,897.50.
He said Puentevella had custody of the BASOC funds, because of his duties as chairman of BASOC while he was then congressman.
DIVERTED TO CEMETERY
Montoyo also said Puentevella diverted the amount of P368,422.50
to the city public cemetery, although this was not allowed under the
BASOC fund. According to COA, the sum of P1,486,350 under the item
“volunteer’s honoraria” cannot be determined to which account it
belongs, he said.
He also said Puentevella disbursed P125,125, not for the purpose for
which it was applied, under the item “weightlifting facilities and
Montoyo said Puentevella had committed a crime under Art. 218 of the RPC for his failure to render accounts.
Public expenses or disbursements which he cannot validly and legally
support were simply covered by his personal check vouchers, Montoyo
Montoyo also said Puentevella committed the crime of technical
malversation under Art. 220 of RPC whereby he, being a public official
with custody of custody and administration of the BASOC fund, applied
the public fund to expenses other than those for which it was intended.
NO RESPONSE TO COA
Moreover, two demands were made by COA to Puentevella to render his
accounting of the BASOC funds since January 2009 to March 2009. Yet,
until now, he has not complied, so that by all legal consequences, the
COA issued to him the findings on his liability for the amount
involving malversarion and technical malversation by this year, the
span now reaching five years, he said.
Montoyo said that under Art 218 of RPC Puentevella is only given a
period of two months to render such accounting from the latest time,
March 2009, thus his failure to do so makes him criminally liable.
He also said Puentevella cannot escape criminal liability under RA 3019
Par. 3 (e) for causing undue injury to the government in the discharge
of his official function through his evident bad faith, or gross
inexcusable negligence, by depositing the BASOC funds to his personal
and private bank account.
As such, the crimes/offenses of Puentevella constitute dishonesty,
grave misconduct and/or neglect in the performance of duty, and as the
charges would warrant removal from public service, he can then be put
under preventive suspension under RA 6770, Montoyo said in his
Although Puentevella was yet congressman of Bacolod when he committed
the offenses, however, by involving the doctrine of Bolastig vs
Sandiganbayan (235 SCRA 103), he may be suspended from his present
office as Bacolod Mayor, because such suspension is justified by the
Bolastig Doctrine, Montoya added.
Puentevella could not be reached for his comment as of press time last night.
Asked his comment, former City Legal Officer
Joselito Bayatan yesterday said the Ombudsman has taken cognizance of
the case because it partakes of the crime under the Revised Penal Code
and of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“Again, we reiterate his moral obligation to
explain to the public what he did with the millions of
pesos, which according to the complaint, runs to P37 million or so that
he malversed and failed to account for the public,” he said.
Bayatan added that Puentevella has both legal and
moral obligation to account to the public for the P37 million BASOC
funds that is the subject matter of the criminal complaint against him
for malversation of public funds.*CGS
back to top