Misconduct raps vs ex-vice mayor junked

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas junked the grave misconduct and technical malversation charges filed by former mayor now incumbent vice mayor Christopher Andaya against former vice mayor Stephen Alayon regarding the disbursement of funds in Sigma, Capiz.

In an 11-page joint resolution signed by graft investigator, Prosecutor Officer 2 Carla Michelle Chaves Gonzaga, and Assistant Ombudsman Jane Aguilar, the charges against Alayon were dismissed for lack of merit.

Andaya claimed that the act of Alayon in releasing the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOEE) amounting to P265,800 as financial assistance is illegal because it was not approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.

Alayon rebutted that he never benefited from the release of the funds nor were the beneficiaries his relatives. He said the recipients were those affected by Covid-19.

He added that the charges were filed “to destroy his political career because of the elections.”

Alayon said he never committed any violation because the Disbursement Voucher was approved by the Municipal Accountant and Municipal Treasurer.

Andaya complained that public funds were disbursed without the authority of any law, ordinance, or appropriation resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan of Sigma.

Andaya claimed in his complaint-affidavit that from January 2020 to September 2020, municipal funds totaling P265,800 were disbursed to various recipients.

The disbursements, according to Andaya, could constitute violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practice Act, Revised Penal Code or Local Government Code of the Philippines, and other relevant laws and regulations.

“It is therefore respectfully prayed that the Office of the Ombudsman conduct a corresponding preliminary investigation and prosecution for violation of appropriate laws and regulations as the facts and circumstances may warrant, including the suspension from office of the respondent,” read part of Andaya’s complaint-affidavit.

A three-termer mayor, Andaya ran and won as vice mayor while Alayon ran for mayor in another political party but lost to a neophyte challenger in the last elections.