• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Provincial Legal Office of Negros Occidental is now set to start its preliminary probe against a former municipal treasurer of Isabela in Negros Occidental, for her involvement in missing government funds totaling P6.4 million.
Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Alberto Nellas yesterday said that the Provincial Administrator Office received the letter of explanation from former Isabela municipal treasurer Nenette Escarda, regarding the loss of government funds.
Nellas said the preliminary investigations will determine whether or not it is warranted that Escarda be formally charged with administrative offenses.
Escarda claimed that the government funds, which she brought to her home in Bacolod City, was stolen.
The missing government funds is composed of P2.6 million in cash and P3.8 million in checks, according to Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla.
In submitting a three-page explanation letter, Nellas said he noted that Escarda did not submit additional evidence. “It’s just a general statement,” he added.
Nellas further said that Escarda continues to report for work at the Provincial Capitol Treasure’s Office, where she was re-assigned, pending investigations.
He added that they are still in the process of determining, if she will be formally charged, or if there is a need for her preventive suspension.
Based on the rules, Nellas said they have 20 days to resolve it. He however added that they may resolve it earlier, since Escarda did not submit additional evidence.
Even during the show cause proceedings, Nellas said he encouraged Escarda retain the services of a lawyer, in order to help her frame her responses to the allegations against her.*