DAGUPAN CITY, July 30 (PNA)–A town councilor of Leyte is now facing strings of criminal cases, including an administrative complaint for issuing fake official receipts and certificates of appearance purportedly coming from the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) every time the latter is holding its national convention.
This was bared by PCL National President Maybelyn Fernandez, a city councilor of Dagupan, who identified the suspect as Sergio Batistis Jr. , a councilor of Albuera town in Leyte and who was arrested while the PCL was holding its national convention last June 10 to 12.
Fernandez said Batistis was arrested in an entrapment operation on June 11 conducted by the Davao City Police when some councilors were found to be holding fake official receipts purporting to show that they paid their registration fee in that convention but a lesser amount, although actually they did not.
The certificates of appearance, which were also faked, attested that the councilors attended the PCL convention although they did not and with these documents, they can collect their regular per diems from their respective local government units.
Fernandez said that it was obvious that some councilors were issued official receipts and paid at a lesser amount to evade paying in full the registration fee in the amount of Php 9,800 per councilor.
The lady councilor called on her fellow councilors all over the country who may have been victimized by Batitis to ” come out clean.”
“We have been asking the councilors to come out clean if they were issued the fake official receipts and certificates of appearance, otherwise we will also file a case against them”, she said.
Fernandez said Batistis was now facing an estafa case including a graft before the Office of the Ombudsman and an administrative case before the Leyte Provincial Board.
The Leyte councilor was allegedly selling fake official receipts and certificates of appearance of the PCL convention in Davao City from June 10-12.
“We were able to find out about this caped when one of our councillors approached us last September 2014,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez noted that Batistis admitted the illegal activity and confessed he has been doing this for for quite some time already.
Batistis is a first termer regular councilor. He, however, has served for two terms in the town council as ex-officio councilor being the Liga ng mga Barangay municipal federation president for two terms.
According to Fernandez, the fake official receipts were being sold at lower prices ranging from Php 2,000-P5,000, while the registration fee was pegged at Php 9,800.
The fake certificates of appearance were sold to show that the councilors were attending the convention even if they were not really present.
Fernandez underscored that PCL conventions are venues for the lawmakers to really participate and learn and not to just roam around.
“We will never tolerate this,” vowed Fernandez. (PNA)