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Ex-Cebu town mayor ordered charged for getting P17,512.50 honorarium from PhilHealth

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 3/20/2017 Gutierrez, Angelo
Office of the Ombudsman thumbnail © Jannielyn Bigtas, GMA News Office of the Ombudsman thumbnail

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges against former Sibonga, Cebu Mayor Lionel Bacaltos for allegedly illegally receiving honorarium from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The anti-graft office accused Bacaltos of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Investigation showed that in 2012, PhilHealth sponsored a health care program providing honorarium for the staff of the municipal health office amounting to P280,197.

Bacaltos included himself in the list of honorarium recipients in February 2015. This, despite not being a member of the municipal health office.

“[R]espondent cannot claim that he is part of the non-health professional/staff of the health facility, as the mention of non-health professional staff refers to non-health professionals/staff of the health facility who provide the health services,” the Ombudsman said in its resolution.

“Clearly, respondent caused undue injury to the government for the amount of P17,512.50 he received as honoraria despite not being entitled thereto,” it added.

Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits public officials from “causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.” —ALG, GMA News

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