Guv files charges, suspends former acting Isabela treasurer

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has ordered the 60-day preventive suspension of the former acting treasurer of Isabela, Negros Occidental, and formally charged her for administrative offenses of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and malversation of public funds.

Nenette M. Escarda, who had been reassigned to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office at the Capitol in Bacolod City, was served her suspension order on Thursday, February 23, Provincial Legal Officer Alberto Nellas Jr. said.

She was preventively suspended because as Cashier 1 at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office she has access to the personnel and audit examination files of Isabela. She was in a position where she could exert undue influence or pressure on the witnesses or tamper evidence against her, Lacson said.

In order to avoid embarrassment for any untoward incident, the governor directed Escarda not to enter the Provincial Capitol and any of its offices during the duration of her suspension.

This is to give due course to a fair and impartial investigation and hearing of her administrative case, he said.

Escarda is facing charges for removing municipal public funds amounting to P2.6 million in cash and P3.8 million in checks from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office of Isabela, which she brought to her house in Bacolod City without any authority to do so, Nellas said.

She then reported that the cash and checks were stolen from her house.

Based on the cash examination conducted by the Commission on Audit dated January 31, Escarda also committed the following irregularities in her cash accountability – P6,629,146.18 in collections remained undeposited as of January 20, and P972,000 in cash advances remained unliquidated as of cut-off date, he said.

Lacson said Escarda should indicate whether or not she elects for a formal investigation or the submission of a position paper within three days from receipt of her formal charge. Failure to file an answer within that period shall be considered a waiver to submit the same and the case shall be decided based on available records, he added.

The investigation should be concluded in 60 days, Nellas said,*

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