Legal Issues in Philippine Education

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Case No. 1

Sandigan throws out DepEd director case

THE anti-graft court Sandiganbayan dismissed the case of a former Department of Education (DepEd) regional director and a regional accountant because of lack of evidence and jurisdiction.The Sandiganbayan First Division scrapped the cases of former chief of DepEd Region IX Ibrahim Albar and regional accountant Edwin Romero. Albar and Romero were charged of violating the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) Act of 1997 and the Home Development Mutual Fund Law (Pag-IBIG) of 1980 for allegedly withholding the GSIS and Pag-IBIG monthly contributions and loan amortizations of DepEd Basilan Schools Division employees, amounting to P51.59 million spanning October 2002 to June 2004.However, after a re-investigation the Office of the Ombudsman flip-flopped and “found no probable cause to hold accused Albar responsible for the charges.” The prosecution found out that it was Olivia San Pablo, chief accountant of the Accounting Division of DepEd-Central Office in Pasig City (Metro Manila), who “had claimed responsibility” for the remittance of all deductions made against the teachers.Lolificacion de Ramos confirmed the findings and said that starting October 2002, the Basilan Schools Division master list of deductions was sent to the DepEd-Cotabato City and not to Zamboanga City, where Albar holds office. “Considering, however, the positive showing that the responsibility for remitting these funds was lodged with the the DepEd-[Cotabato City] and not with DepEd-[Zamboanga City] . . . Albar could not be held responsible or such remittances,” the ruling read which said the dismissal was “only proper.” As for Romero, his case was dismissed because his salary grade was only at level 15. Sandiganbayan is hearing only cases where the principal accused has a salary grade of 27 and higher. Associate Justices Efren de la Cruz, Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos stood witness to the promulgation of the resolution on October 12. http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/news/regions/9460-sandigan-throws-out-deped-director-case

Insight/Reaction
➢ It is really hard to become an administrator/regional director holding a notable position in the government. The person holding such position is accountable not only managing his jurisdiction but also liable with financial aspects. In this case, the reputation of the two (2) personnel had put into hot seat that public accusations were thrown onto them the fact that what they did is just and proper. Of what happened maybe was a case of improper channelling or miscommunication. But again, when we took of money, it should be properly handled because that might be the root of charges that can be filed against a person if not properly documented or handled. Case No. 2

2 teachers, DepEd worker face malversation case over P7.7T

TWO Cebu City public school teachers and a trainer accused of pocketing money left over from a seminar are facing a criminal case for malversation before the Regional Trial Court. Blasila Abunda and Florencia Barrera, both of the Pasil Elementary School, and Shirley Lapidario of the Department of Education (DepEd) risk losing their jobs for P7,725. According to complainant Loreto Zamoras, also of the Pasil Elementary School, the three were part of a seminar on innovative strategies in teaching English, science and mathematics at the University of San Carlos in May 2008.‘Zero-balance’The DepEd disbursed P46,000 to fund the activity, but not all the money was allegedly spent. For example, an amount earmarked for renting an LCD projector was not used because the school had one. In the first week of June, Abunda allegedly requested Lapidario, who shared the information with complainant Zamoras, to make “zero-balance liquidation” of the seminar’s expenses. Lapidario prepared a financial statement showing that a total of P28,808 was spent during the seminar, leaving a balance of P17, 292....
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