Ex-Leyte mayor, 3 other officials face graft charges

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Former municipal mayor Leonardo Leria of MacArthur, Leyte and three other former municipal officials are facing graft case before the Sandiganbayan on allegations that they allowed the payment of P355,000 for overtime services of municipal officials and employees.

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Likewise named respondents were former municipal treasurer Daisy Caña, former municipal budget officer Arturo Zamoras, and former municipal accountant Margarita Dagsa.

The case stemmed from a Commission on Audit (COA) findings that Leria and the three other ex-officials have allowed the release of payment for the overtime services supposedly rendered in 2002 to 2004 without the necessary budget appropriation and supporting documents.

“It was found during the audit that there was no existing appropriation for overtime services and that no supporting documents were submitted, such as the authority to render overtime service, purpose and nature of overtime work, daily time records or accomplishment reports. Consequently, the payments for overtime services were disallowed by the Commission on Audit,” it said.

“Caña, Zamoras and Dagsa are among the employees given unauthorized overtime payments taken out from the cash advance intended for the payment of clothing/uniform allowance,” the Office of the Ombudsman said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The Ombudsman added that department heads are not authorized to claim overtime pay under the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 10 series of 1996.

“[T]he collective lapses of respondents Leria, Caña, Zamoras and Dagsa in relation to the preparation, processing and approval of the payrolls.. clearly demonstrated bad faith and/or manifest partiality on their part,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales alleged.
The charge was for alleged violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Section 3(e) prohibits public officials from causing undue injury to any party, or giving a private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

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