LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Graft charges were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman last Monday against the president of the Pangasinan State University for disbursing for himself “extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses” beyond what is allowed by law.
In a complaint filed before the anti-graft body, Dr. Francisco G. Posadas, an associate professor of PSU, accused Dr. Dexter Buted of “blatantly violating pertinent laws on the use of public funds, an act tantamount to abuse of authority, grave misconduct and malversation of public funds.”
Posadas presented evidences that include findings by the Commission on Audit (COA) that Buted had claimed reimbursements of P1 million for extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses (EMS) in excess of what is allowed under Section 39 of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2015.
Under the GAA, Buted who holds a rank of a department undersecretary, is entitled to P108,000 in extraordinary expenses and P72,000 in miscellaneous expenses.
However, the COA found out that the state university head had claimed EMS reimbursements of P1,180,000, or an excess of P1 million. The reimbursements were made within a year after Buted’s assumption of the post in December, 2014, the COA report said.
Posadas claimed in his complaint that Buted as early as from June to September 22, 2015, or a period of four months, had already used P480,000 of his EMS, but he still continued to claim additional reimbursements up to December of that year way beyond the ceiling provided for by GAA.
The complainant informed the anti-graft body that Buted was able to claim reimbursements “without supporting documents, such as official receipts,” to justify the expenses.
Posadas submitted copies of the vouchers and corresponding checks covering the reimbursements from June to December 15, 2015.
The COA in its annual audit report, asked Buted to “submit a detailed accounting of the excess amount” (of the reimbursed fund), but Buted allegedly failed to submit the requirement and instead issued only a certification on the expenses.
According to Posadas, the PSU head maneuvered the releases of his EMS beyond what is allowed by law by “arbitrarily relieving” the school’s chief administrative officer who had refused the sign the reimbursement voucher and designating an ally as replacement.
Stripped of his regular duties and functions, the relieved administrative officer was transferred to another post on a “floating status.”
Posadas also informed the Ombudsman that he had earlier filed a complaint with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) regarding Buted’s “arbitrary policies.”
Posadas claimed he was one of several faculty members who were “unlawfully dropped from the rolls” for refusing to “toe-the-line.”
Earlier last year, the education committee of the House of Representatives summoned Buted to shed light on a controversial issue involving the university’s on-the-job (OJT) training program.
A batch of graduating human resource management students had complained that they were deployed for OJT in a factory in Laguna where they were made to do menial jobs as laborers. One of the students was hospitalized as he nearly died because of severe chemical intoxication.
Sources said the House education committee will still have to look into the report which Buted was asked to submit to the body.
Posadas asked the Ombudsman to place immediately Buted under preventive suspension to “prevent tampering of evidences and intimidation of witnesses.”
By Dexter A. See