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Manila court convicts 2 Tondo village execs

Manila, Philippines – The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has slapped long prison terms to two barangay officials in Tondo for pocketing barangay funds, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) announced yesterday.

In a 10-page decision, RTC Presiding Judge Dinnah Aguila-Topacio found Chairman Leo de Guzman and Treasurer Violeta Arendala of Barangay 95, Zone 8 of District 1 of Tondo guilty of falsification and malversation charges.

For the two offenses they were sentenced up to 20 years in jail.

The OMB stated the court found that in September 2001, De Guzman and Arendela malversed the barangay funds amounting to P158,000 and converted the same for their own personal use.

The anti-graft body said the two convicts connived in falsifying a resolution to claim additional wages and reimbursements. It said the two made it appear that the resolution was unanimously approved and signed by all members of the barangay council on April 15, 2001 “when in truth council members never participated, approved or signed the same.” (Jun Ramirez)