SAN CARLOS CITY- The fact finding body has finally delivered the result in the nine million scam right before the Pangasinan media in a press forum held at the Bulawagan Thursday morning.
Atty. Rodolfo Samson read page 14 of 16 of the summary and findings of the committee report submitted to the Mayor last July 14 2009 in response to the directive of the mayor as provided in his Executive Order no. 036-2009.
The report stated that Leny D. fermin was found to have committed Malversation of Public funds defined and penalized by Art.217 of the revised penal code for a) for LBP check No321953 dated March 31,2009in the amount of P9 million; b) LBP City Government check No.321893 in the amount of P2 million; and c)LBP City Government check No.321955 dated April 3 2009 in the amount of P 5 million.
Summarily, Leny Fermin was found by the committee liable for three counts of Malversation of funds and should be charged separately for each count as the crime has been committed on separate and distinct transactions from one another and on different dates.
On the report Fermin was also found to have committed serious administrative infractions, particularly grave misconduct in the performance of her duties and responsibilities, and the committee has to recommend filing appropriate administrative charges.
Again on the report Ms. Dinah Rico, identified as the signature verifier of the Land Bank of the Philippines San Carlos City (Pangasinan) branch was also found to have conspired with Fermin in the commission of the crime of Malversation of Public Funds.
Samson explained that Rico should be equally liable as of Fermin in the two check transactions with check No.321953 and 321893 for the 9 and 2 million encashment transactions.
Mayor Resuello explained further that Land Bank of the Philippines is very much liable for the fact that despite doubts on the signature of the mayor and failure to contact him for further verification the check was still en cashed and was found to be deposited on Fermin’s personal account.
Resuello said that the signatures that appear on the checks mentioned was not his and can never be his.
“I know my signatures very well and that it was very obvious that the said signatures was really forged” Resuello explains as he shows the exact signature specimen to the media.
On the Forum Atty. Samson tells members of the media that there were other blank checks discovered with the same signature of the mayor on the questioned checks already en-cashed with the bank.
“It seems that someone has been doing a signature practice on the check and these checks were only discovered after the investigation was done : Samson said.
Meanwhile, the committee did not spare Vilma Cristobal the city administrative officer and Marrisa Mendoza administrative aide I for their negligence in their duty for failing to check and double check the completeness of the documents.
Samson explained that the committee did not find sufficient grounds to pin down City Treasurer Arturo Mandapat.
“ We have three witnesses that can attest that Mandapat’s signature was in good faith since there were several instances where unsigned vouchers where also made signed by the treasury department to Mayor afterwards and that on the first glance the signature on the check would seem to be the Mayor’s signature which made him sign the check.
And that we have only limit the findings base on the available evidence submitted to the committee. He said.
The Panel recommends to the Mayor that the findings be forwarded to the National Bureau of Investigation for their assessment and consideration for finding Prima facie evidence in order to indict the persons found to be criminally liable and file appropriate charges in court and to further conduct necessary investigation if needed.
MeanwhileThe National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has found cashier-designate Leny Fermin and City Treasurer Arturo Mandapat as the primary suspects behind the missing P9 million.
A criminal complaint has been filed against them before the Ombudsman on July 6. Fermin was charged with malversation and perjury while Mandapat was charged with perjury and malversation thru negligence, being Fermin’s superior officer.