Ombudsman to charge Zambo del Sur ex-mayor for failure to liquidate travel expenses

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 3 July) – The Office of the Ombudsman has found a probable cause to charge former Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur mayor Wilson Nandang for failure to liquidate his travel expenses.

The Ombudsman said the respondent would face 10 counts each of violation of Article 217 (malversation of public funds) and Article 218 (failure of accountable officer to render accounts) of the Revised Penal Code.

Article 217 provides that malversation is committed if a public officer “shall appropriate [public funds or property] or shall take or misappropriate or shall consent, through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take such public funds, or property, wholly or partially.”

Article 218, meanwhile, requires public officers to render account to the auditor within two months of rendering the account.

According to a statement released by the Ombudsman, Nandang received 10 cash advances for travel expenses amounting to P1,250,000 from January 2011 to August 2011 but failed to liquidate them despite demands by the Commission on Audit (COA).

The Ombudsman maintained that cash advances for local travels must be liquidated within 30 days upon return to official station under COA Circular No. 97-002. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)