For failure to remit GSIS premiums on time, Sandiganbayan convicts 2 ex-town officials

Published October 25, 2021, 4:51 PM

by Jel Santos

Sandiganbayan

The Sandiganbayan has convicted the former accountant and treasurer of Tambulig town in Zamboanga del Sur for their failure to remit to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) P4,845,453.24 in employees’ premium contributions from 1997 to 2003.

Former treasurer Normelyn M. Nillas and then accountant Peter B. Malicay were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 52(g) of Republic Act No. 8291, the GSIS Act of 1997.

They were sentenced to imprisonment of two years minimum to three years maximum and were each ordered by the court to pay P15,000. They were also banned perpetually from holding public office and from practicing any profession or calling licensed by the government.

Section 52(g) of RA 8291 mandates heads of government offices to remit employees’ premium contributions to the GSIS within 30 days from the time that the contributions become due and demandable.

On malversation charges, however, Nillas and Malicay were acquitted by the anti-graft court.

“Without further evidence of misappropriation, the two surviving accused may not be successfully prosecuted under that charge,” the court noted.

Originally, former Mayor Eduardo C. Balaod was charged together with Nillas and Malicay. But the Sandiganbayan dismissed the charges against Balaod on account of his death.

Nillas and Malicay acknowledged the non-remittance of the employees” GSIS contributions. But they anchored their defense on “skewed mathematical computation.”

“Observably, not a single accused even ventured to dispute the allegation of non-remittance as untrue,” the anti-graft court said in a decision written by Associate Justice Oscar C. Herrera Jr.

“Here, it is unquestionable that the obligation of the municipality already ballooned because of its accumulated failure to remit full contributions over a period of six years, spanning 1997 to 2003, which is a duration well beyond the ‘thirty days following the ten-day period in the succeeding calendar month’ when such individual monthly contribution should have applied and become due and demandable,” the court said.

“All things weighed and considered, a pronouncement of guilt of the two surviving accused is therefore ineluctable,” the court ruled.

The decision was concurred in by Associate Justices Michael Frederic L. Musngi and Bayani H. Jacinto.

 
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