Ombudsman case filed vs Tugbungan chairman, treasurer PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 August 2012 13:49

A case of alleged forgery, falsification of public documents and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act have been filed with the Office of the Ombudsman-Davao Thursday last week by Tugbungan Barangay Councilman Richard Bautista through his legal counsel Atty. Juan Climaco Elago.against Tugbungan Barangay Chairman Agustin “Jun” Graciano and barangay treasurer Melanie Jubaira.

In an interview with RMN-Zamboanga during its public affairs program “Straight to the Point”, Elago said that appropriate charges were filed against Graciano through mail and attached thereto all information relative to the aforementioned cases.

Elago said the Ombudsman Office will look into the administrative and criminal aspect of issue especially the alleged irregularities that the barangay treasurer has committed allegedly with the knowledge of the barangay chairman.

Early last month, a group of Tugbungan barangay tanod and barangay health workers accompanied by Kagawad Richard Bautista sought the legal advice of Elago which resulted in the filing of the Ombudsman case against the duo.

Elago said that some 28 barangay employees mostly tanod went to him complaining of alleged incomplete payment made by the barangay chairman on their Christmas bonus last December.

The employees claimed they were supposed to receive P5,000 each as Christmas bonus, but Graciano only handed to them more than P1,000.

Some alleged that they only received P1,300 while others said they received P1,700, Elago said.

Bautista, on the other hand said, he personally doesn’t have any knowledge as to the exact amount that the tanods should receive as a bonus last December.

He said he accompanied the complainants to the local Commission on Audit (COA) and the record appeared that indeed each was supposed to receive P5, 000 each in the form of check as Christmas bonus.

Elago said that no less than the 28 complainants denied signing their respective checks and made a second endorsement since no one from among them have seen those checks personally.

The complainants, Elago said, revealed to him that it was Graciano who distributed the Christmas bonus in cash.

The act was a clear manifestation that somebody has forged the signatures of the affected employees and falsified all the documents, Elago said.
Also in the affidavit of complaint was the alleged existence of a “ghost-employee” in the barangay government.

An employee of the City Accounting Office is allegedly in the payroll and has been receiving a monthly salary/allowance as payment of his service rendered to the barangay government.

No less than Bautista admitted that he has never seen the person reporting for duty in the barangay.

When verified, Elago learned that this government employee is reportedly facilitating transactions for Barangay Tugbungan in the accounting office.
“He will also face charges of possible double compensation,” Elago warned.

However, Elago clarified that out of the 28 tanods and other barangay workers, only six have executed their affidavits of complaint which became the basis of Kagawad Bautista in bringing the matter before the Ombudsman office.

“I talked to the others and they said that they are still willing to testify and execute affidavits in the event the Ombudsman will ask from them,” Elago said.

Meanwhile, Barangay Chairman Graciano clarified that he has nothing to do with the alleged irregularities considering that an agreement has been made between him and the recipients of the Christmas bonus.

“Yan cuento ya se kame. Pensaba yo okay ya sila. Nosabe yo porque sila ya anda reclama,” Graciano said as he made clarification that in so far as the checks are concerned, everything is being done by the disbursing officer who is the treasurer.

Elago’s law office learned that the supposed P5, 000 bonus each of the tanod and BHW was slashed purposely to also distribute it to other barangay workers who are not entitled to the said incentives in which Graciano claimed an act of good faith.

“It is still a violation. What is supposed to be done is for the chairman is to hand the check first to the recipients and let them encash it and possibly let the owner of the money share it with their co-workers afterwards,” Elago disclosed.

In a separate interview early last week, Melanie Jubaira, the barangay treasurer, admitted that all the checks were encashed at once at a downtown store but she did not reveal as to who signed it all for and in behalf of the tanods. — Jimmy Villaflores