• Court to try former PhilPost chief

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    The Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division has found basis to try former Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) Postmaster General Josefina dela Cruz for her alleged failure to remit to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) the loan amortizations of a former employee.

    Earlier this year, the Office of the Ombudsman filed 15 counts of violation of Section 52(g) of Republic Act No. 8291 or the GSIS Act against Dela Cruz, former PhilPost Postal Area IX Director Bernardito Gonzales (now Eastern Mindanao area director), and former Accountant V Arlene Bendanillo.

    “Accused dela Cruz’s insistence that the failure to remit loan payments to GSIS was due to circumstances beyond her control, as PPC suffered financial setbacks that rendered it unable to effect such remittances is a matter of defense that is best left for the Court to resolve after a full-blown trial on the merits,” the court said.

    It denied for lack of merit dela Cruz’s motion for reinvestigation, saying that it “finds no reason to direct the Ombudsman to conduct a reinvestigation.”

    Also, the court held that the case falls within its jurisdiction.

    Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who leads the court’s Seventh Division, as well as Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta and Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses signed the ruling.

    On Thursday, dela Cruz posted P360,000 bail for her provisional liberty.

    Gonzales also posted a P75,000 bail.

    According to the charge sheets, the respondents failed to remit to the GSIS the employee’s loan amortizations from October 2011 to December 2012 totaling P35,178.45 “within thirty (30) days from the time it became due and demandable…”

    Under Section 52(g) of the GSIS Act, heads and personnel of government offices who are involved in the collection of premium contributions, loan amortization and other accounts due the GSIS who fail to remit the same within 30 days from the time these were due and demandable face imprisonment upon conviction by final judgment.

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