AN employee of the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) was ordered dismissed from service for falsifying receipts and misappropriating government funds.
Danilo Sultan, a CPA special collection officer in Camotes Island, northeast Cebu, was found guilty of serious dishonesty by the Ombudsman-Visayas.
In her decision, graft investigation and prosecution officer Irish Inabangan Amores found evidence to hold Sultan liable of the administrative charges.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by former CPA general manager Angelo Verdan. A team composed of CPA employees conducted an audit in April 2009.
They approached some regular port users in Camotes Island and requested them to present records and copies of official receipts which the CPA has issued them.
A port user, Samuel Garciano, cooperated and showed them his records.
The audit team found out that there were discrepancies in the amounts reflected on the official receipts issued by Sultan to Garciano.
The original copies of the official receipts from Garciano and the duplicate copy of the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that Sultan merely collected a total amount of P981.09 when the amount he actually collected was P37,426.20.
Hence, there was a difference of P36,445.11.
The audit team also discovered receipts issued to a certain Lanie showing similar discrepancies.
In Lanie’s case, Sultan actually collected P6,055.72 instead of P859.50 as what appears in the COA receipt.
In falsifying the official receipts for COA, CPA said Sultan made it appear that he gathered a particular amount when, in truth, he collected a much higher amount.
CPA requested Sultan to account for the missing funds. However, he failed to do so.
In his reply to COA, Sultan allegedly apologized for his misdeeds and expressed willingness to pay for the lost funds.
But in his counter-affidavit submitted to the anti-graft office, Sultan denied the allegations.
He said another employee, Geneses Cunanan, was sent to Camotes to help him sometime in 2005.
Since he was the regular employee of CPA, Sultan said he was tasked to sign the receipts.
He said he pre-signed blank receipts to be used by Cunanan after the respondent’s work from 4 am to 12 noon.
He also said that he never pocketed government funds for his personal use. Sultan said he never admitted his liability to the CPA.
However, the anti-graft office said Sultan’s defense “cannot be well-taken.”
“At any rate, respondent was the accountable officer under the circumstances as opposed to that of Cunanan. Sultan’s liability on the possible involvement of Cunanan is exant.
“Moreoever, it was his signatures that appeared on the falsified official receipts,” said Amores whose resolution was approved Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol and Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter