MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has ordered two officials of San Enrique town, Iloilo to pay a fine amounting to P700,000 each after pleading guilty to charges stemming from late remittances of municipal employee contributions to the Government Service Insurance System and the Pag-IBIG fund (Home Development Mutual Fund).
Mayor Rosario Mediatrix Fernandez and municipal treasurer Imelda Celebrar were sentenced after pleading guilty to 16 counts of violation of the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997 and 11 counts of violation of the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009.
Based on the charge sheet of the Office of the Ombudsman, Fernandez and Celebrar were late in remitting P5.34 million to the GSIS and P620,000 to Pag-IBIG.
“When the cases were called today, both accused Fernandez and Celebrar, through counsels, moved that they be allowed to withdraw their earlier plea of not guilty to the charges, and that they be re-arraigned. Since the prosecution did not interpose any objection, the Court granted the motion,” the court said in its decision penned by 2nd Division Chairperson Oscar Herrera Jr., with the concurrence of Associate Justices Frederick Musngi and Lorifel Pahimna.
Upon being re-arraigned, the two pleaded guilty to lesser offenses, which were also agreed to by the prosecution.
For the GSIS-related cases, the two were ordered to pay a fine of P5,000 for each of the 16 counts or a total of P80,000 each.
For the Pag-IBIG fund cases, they were ordered to pay varying amounts for each of the counts, totaling to P620,000 each.