Isabela to feel effect of stolen funds later in year, mayor says

Mayor Irene Montilla said they will make sure that the person responsible for the loss of funds belonging to the municipal government of Isabela in Negros Occidental will be held responsible.

While the loss of the funds will not be felt by the municipality immediately, it will before the end of the year if it is not returned, Montilla said Friday, February 3.

Former Isabela municipal treasurer Nenette Mandadero Escarda said funds of the municipality that she brought to Bacolod City to be deposited in a bank were stolen from her house at Las Palmas Subdivision in Barangay Taculing, on January 21.

Montilla said according to Escarda the amount stolen was P3.8 million in checks and P2.6 million in cash but they are still investigating the exact amount.

The Commission on Audit is investigating about P7 million in alleged missing funds from the town treasury, Provincial Treasurer Amy Grace Bolivar said Thursday.

Jesse Gumapas assumed the post of acting Isabela municipal treasurer on Friday, Montilla said.

Montilla had sought the replacement of Escarda for loss of trust and confidence.

Escarda has been reassigned to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, Bolivar said.

Montilla said they are waiting for the full investigation report of the police and the provincial government on the loss of funds before charges can be filed.

The mayor said Escarda was definitely not authorized to bring home any funds belonging to the municipal government and to make a deposit.

Someone else had been designated to deposit the funds of the municipality because Escarda was often absent, Montilla said.

Depositing funds of the town was not part of the duties of Escarda, and her bringing it to her home meant it was not covered by a bond, the mayor said.

The cash and checks that Escarda said were stolen were from tax collections of the municipality from the end of December to mid-January, Montilla said.

The funds stolen were hard earned money of the people of Isabela, Montilla said.*

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