The Office of the Ombudsman has filed charges against Vice Mayor Leonardo Leria of the town of MacArthur in the province of Leyte, along with three other persons for unlawfully authorizing the overtime pays of municipal employees amounting to P355,000 despite a standing directive from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Leria has allegedly conspired with municipal treasurer Daisy Cana, budget officer Arturo Zamora, and accountant Margarita Dagsa in re-appropriating the funds meant for uniform and clothing allowances of government workers to pay for the overtime services of employees, including Leria himself, from 2002 to 2009.
“It was found during the audit that there was no existing appropriation for overtime services and that no supporting documents were submitted,” Ombudsman Conchia Carpio-Morales said; referring to the report acquired by the Ombudsman’s Special Prosecutor from the Commission on Audit.
Leria, who was still the municipal mayor at that time, was said to have enjoyed cash incentives from overtime work rendered to the local government unit despite the provisions of DBM Circular No. 10 series of 1996 that disallows agency executives to claim overtime pays.
“The collective lapses of respondents Leria, Cana, 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,” Carpio added.
All four respondents were charged for violating section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, that disallows the giving of “unwarranted benefits, advantage, or preference” to any person while discharging his or her official functions.