Saturday, September 17, 2016

CVF: No more comments on P85M issue until COA report is released

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—Mayor Chevylle Fariñas said she will no longer comment on the missing P85 million issue until the Commission on Audit has completed its investigation and released the results.

She added that she is also keen to know the COA investigation result.

No kasanu kinagagar yo a maamwan iti resulta imbestigasyon appo, mas kaniyak,” the mayor said.

It has been more than two months now since the missing money was discovered. COA however has not released its investigation’s result. Another government agency, the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) has completed its own investigation. The BLGF however, will only release the result once COA releases its own investigation result.

Ms. Fariñas explained that her current stance on the issue is for her not to preempt the COA investigation result. She also said she hopes COA will release its report soon so everyone would know what happened and who are at fault.

She added that she thinks COA is thoroughly probing the issue, saying: “Ta ar-arisiten da a permi ta saan da kayat nga adda mapalusutan da a dokumento wennu anyaman a proof or justification a masapul da”.

Former treasurer’s leave
Meanwhile, Ms. Fariñas disclosed that she received a copy of the leave of absence filed by former Laoag treasurer Maria Elena Asuncion.

The mayor said the BLGF regional office furnished her a copy. The letter was dated July 12, 2016 and was mailed in Makati on July 26, 2016. She received her copy on July 27, 2016.

Upon learning this, Ms. Fariñas said she immediately wrote the Makati City government to seek assistance. She said a CCTV camera may have caught who sent the letter.

She said she also asked handwriting experts to ascertain if the signature in the letter was really that of Ms. Asuncion.

She is still waiting for the results of both requests as of press time.

Voluntary leave, command responsibility
The mayor also confirmed her receipt of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan resolution requesting her and Laoag vice mayor Michael V. Fariñas to file their respective leaves of absence while the investigation is ongoing.

She said she finds no reason to fulfill the request. She stressed that she does not want to stop serving the people who put her in her position.

Ms. Fariñas also said SP member Vicentito “Toto” M. Lazo is entitled to his own opinion after the board member said it was the mayor’s command responsibility that the incident happened.

Inaramid ko met ken ar aramidek met iti responsibilidad ko ti amin a kabaelak nga agserbi ken annungen ti obligasyon ko iti tattao”, the mayor opined.

She also added that she would no longer comment on the issue until COA releases its report.

“But it doesn’t mean that when I don’t speak, I do not have an opinion. For as long as I do my job the best way I can ken kayak a kitaen ti uray siasinno man a taga Laoag appo and tell them nga inaramid ko amin a kabaelak ken ipatpateg ko iti talek nga inted da kaniyak and no way nga ibabain kayo appo,” she added. 

She also noted that she believes the truth will eventually come out and those behind the incident would be charged.

Treasurer’s office back to normal
After being rocked by the issue, Ms. Fariñas said the treasury office is slowly returning to normal operations. She said new employees were assigned to the Cash Division.

Diomedes Gayban, who was next in rank to Ms. Asuncion, was designated acting treasurer by the BLGF. Mr. Gayban, however asked that he be allowed to look into the flow of transactions before he formally assumes the acting treasurer post.

Ms. Fariñas said Mr. Gayban is now doing the work well although he is still very careful on the transactions. She added that treasury operation is again in full swing.

Kasi saan tayo maikkat a maamak payla isuna kaya nag-iingat ta amin kami ket ingat na ingat ken kayat na laeng a klaro amin kaniyana ta narigat met a permaam iti maysa a banag a saan mo a maawatan,” Ms. Fariñas explained.

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