SC reverses COA decision holding BSP execs liable for P32.7-M cash shortage
The Supreme Court (SC) has reversed the Commission on Audit’s (COA) decisions finding several officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Cotabato branch liable over P32.7 million in cash shortages.
In a recent 20-page en banc decision, the SC said COA erred when it held branch manager Perry Dequita bank officer Evelyn Yap, as well as other BSP officials, liable “without an actual complaint being filed and without giving them the chance to defend themselves.”
“The assailed [April 12, 2013] Decision violated the basic tenets of due process and must be annulled and set aside,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
The issue arose from COA’s December 2005 audit of Yap’s cash accountabilities, which were handled earlier that year by acting bank officer Verlina Silo. Silo admitted to Dequita that she misappropriated a portion of Yap’s accountability when she still had custody over it.
This led to COA’s filing of administrative and criminal complaints against all three BSP officers. But, the Ombudsman in July 2006 only found probable cause to charge Silo and dismiss her from government employment, letting Yap and Dequita off the hook.
Since the Ombudsman absolved Yap and Dequita of criminal and administrative liability, the BSP opined that Yap’s liability to refund the shortage was extinguished. But, it requested COA to evaluate the issue of the status of Yap’s accounts receivables.
COA, however, treated the request for an opinion as a request to be relieved from accountability, which it denied.
The SC, however, said the request for opinion was merely meant to seek COA’s guidance on the proper booking of Yap’s accounts receivable.