SAN CARLOS CITY – The Commission on Audit has cleared Mayor Julian Resuello of any wrongdoing in various city government transactions, which were enumerated in a complaint against him here.
In a report released today, the COA Legal Adjudication Office, which formed a special audit team, said the complaint of one Carlito Naval of this city was baseless because the audit team did not find any anomaly in any of the transactions.
The report was signed by Carlos Francis Santiago, team leader of the special audit team.
In his complaint, Naval said that the city government renovated the old city mayor’s office for P500,000 without the benefit of a contract; bought heavy equipment vehicles for P60 million; and built a P7-million shed inside its new public market.
He also said that the Resuello bought 24 overpriced motor vehicles, which were used by the mayor’s relatives; and received an unrecorded donation of P500,000 for the construction of a waiting shed in front of the plaza.
Naval had identified six other alleged anomalous transactions by the city government but the COA said that these had been sufficiently addressed by Regional Cluster Director Caesar Ramirez of the COA regional office in San Fernando City in La Union, who had earlier acted on Naval’s complaint.
On the renovation of the mayor’s office, the audit team said that contrary to Naval’s allegation, the repair was implemented under a contract dated Nov. 28, 1998, which was entered into by the city government and Val Cruz Construction and Supply in the amount of P644,011.15.
“The team also inspected the repair works and found the items to be in accordance with those in the contract,” the report said.
On the purchase of heavy equipment worth P60 million, the COA said that it evaluated the city’s inventory of construction and heavy equipment and found that the city had 22 heavy and light construction equipment, including five mini-dump trucks.
“Apparently, these had a total cost of P23,250,000,” the audit team said. “Canvass and evaluation showed the purchase prices to be reasonable, being lower than the average prices,” it added.
The audit team also found that the city government did not disburse any amount fro the construction of a waiting shed inside the new public market.
It added that the city government bought 20 four-wheeled vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles. But the audit team said that after evaluating of the prices of the vehicles, it did not find any overpricing.
It also found that based on memorandum receipts covering the questioned vehicles, these are assigned to various offices of the city government and the Philippine National Police.
On the unrecorded donation of P500,000 for the construction of a waiting shed, the audit team found that the structure was built in two phases for a total cost of P994,052.40. The first phase cost P498,552.40 and the second phase was worth P495,500.
But it said that although it did not find any appropriation, contract or record in the city’s books of account, the team believed that Resuello acted “in good faith” in not immediately recording the donations.
“In order to avoid doubts on the accuracy of the city’s financial statements and misapprehension by the public, it is recommended that all donations …must be accounted for and recorded in the books as government funds,” the COA said.