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Ex-Lanao mayor charged over multimillion cash disbursements

DATELINE MARAWI -- Former Mayor Norlainie Limbona of Pantar, Lanao del Norte will face trial for graft at the Sandiganbayan for approving fund disbursements worth P11.8 million from 2008 to 2009 even if previous cash advances had not yet been liquidated.

In a statement, the Office of the Ombudsman said it has found probable cause to charge Limbona for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) and Section 89 of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 1445).

The Ombudsman also indicted Municipal Accountant Paganaibae Macaumbos and then acting Municipal Treasurer Orac Racmat for the same violations.

The Ombudsman’s investigation showed that Limbona, Macaumbos, and Racmat allegedly approved the multimillion-peso fund disbursements from January 2008 to January 2009 without proof that previous cash advances have been accounted for.

The Ombudsman also found that the cash advances from January to June 2008 were drawn without specific expenditure, in violation of Commission on Audit (COA) Circular No. 97-002.

Under COA rules, no cash advance shall be given unless for a legally specific purpose.

The release of additional cash advances to any official or employee is likewise prohibited unless the previous cash advance given to him is first settled or a proper accounting has been made.

Racmat had unliquidated cash advances amounting to P2.3 million of which there were no reports, records, and documents to account for, COA said.

The New Ranao Star

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