Two persons recently filed a complaint for malversation against former Puerto Princesa City mayor Edward Hagedorn and other officials involving a P1 million reimbursement for an “unknown transaction in 2012”.
Antonio Lagrada and fish port manager Oscar Lapida Jr. filed the complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman on July 11 against Hagedorn for alleged violation of Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019 ) for malversation of public funds.
Lapida said Monday that on February 14, 2012, Veterans Bank Check no. 162470 amounting to P1 million was withdrawn and issued to Hagedorn as the payee and as payment for reimbursement for an unknown transaction.
Hagedorn received the proceeds as shown in his signature at the back of the check, the complainant claimed.
“Nakalagay sa batas na kung ano man ang pinag-kakagastusaan ng city government ay dapat direktang ibayad doon sa pinag-kakautangan or i-withdraw ito ng disbursing officer at siya ang magbabayad doon sa mga pinagkakautangan. Sa bagay na ito, ang tseke ay nakapangalan mismo kay Edward Hagedorn na walang kaukulang papeles na nagsusuporta sa kanyang reimbursement,” Lapida said.
Atty. Agustin Rocamora, former city administrator; Nanette Dario, former city accountant; and Ma. Corazon Abayari, incumbent city treasurer, were also named as respondents of the complaints.
“Naniniwala naman ako kay Abayari na sila ay napilitan lang dahil napaka makapangyarihan ni Hagedorn dati pero ganoon pa man, dapat kung isa kang public servant dapat alam mo ang batas na kung hindi puwede ay hindi,” he said.
Lapida added that Hagedorn “should be personally liable for receiving the reimbursed amount and failure to settle, pay or account for the amount which is an evidence of the commission of malversation of public funds through falsification of documents punishable under the revised penal code”.
He said the amount came from the P122 million calamity fund used for snacks and parties.
There are many irregularities during the Hagedorn’s administration and more cases will be filed once more pieces of evidence are discovered, Lapida said.
He denied that the complaint is politically motivated.
“Sa kanila politically motivated ito, pero para sa akin gusto ko lang mailabas lahat. Hanggang sa mailabas natin ‘to lahat at mabigyan ng katarungan ang taong bayan ay hanggang doon ‘yon lalo’t ito ay taxpayer’s money,” he added.
Palawan News tried to get the side of Hagedorn but he has not answered its calls.