November 30, 2023

Gapan mayor, city treasurer  face plunder, malversation raps

By Justine Rich Talusan

THE mayor of Gapan City, Nueva Ecija and the city treasurer were charged with plunder, malversation of public funds, and violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act  before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Named respondents in the administrative and criminal complaints  filed on March 8 were  Gapan City Mayor Emerson Pascual  and city treasurer Mauro Marcelo.  

The complaint was lodged before the Office of the Ombudsman for Luzon by Apolinario Cabatuando  of Bgy. Mabuga,  Gapan City.

Cabatuando alleged that “after just five years, aside from living an ostentatious and extravagant lifestyle, Pascual is now living in a new house in Bgy. Pambuan, Gapan City and has been constructing another palatial house in a sprawling parcel of land in the same barangay.”

He added that the mayor has also acquired “turn of the century houses” located in barangays San Lorenzo and San Vicente and developed a property called “Tagpuan sa Lumang Gapan” within the city.

Photos of the said properties were attached as Annexes “B, B-1, C, D, E, F and G” in the complaint-affidavit.

Cabatuando also accused both Pascual and Marcelo of illegally- disbursing the total amount of P365,598,688.76 starting from the period July 2020 until December 2020.

“By issuing checks in the said amount without the duly approved disbursement vouchers, the two respondents have committed illegal acts such as malversation of public funds, plunder, and violation of Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019,”  Cabatuando alleged.  

Attached to his complaint was a copy of the Commission on Audit’s Annual Audit Report ending December 31, 2020 referred to as “Annex H.”