Ex-Daanbantayan mayor Corro fined over Yolanda fund mess

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Former Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Augusto Corro has been ordered fined for the mess in the release of funds for Yolanda typhoon victims.

The Office of the Ombudsman ordered ​Corro​ to pay a fine equivalent to two-months worth of salary after finding him guilty of simple negligence.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Renato Benatiro who was listed by the local government in 2014 as unqualified to to become a beneficiary of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) which is a financial assistance fund from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The Ombudsman explained “[respondent] disqualified complainant on the ground that his house was located within the unsafe zone but four months later they claimed that the municipality has not yet determined its danger/unsafe zone.”

“If it is true that the municipality merely withheld the ESA of those residing near the shorelines pending proper identification of its danger/unsafe zones, the remarks appearing next to complainant’s name on the list, as well as that of the others, should have been ‘for verification’ and not a categorical and unqualified “unsafe zone’,” it ruled.

On the other hand, the Ombudsman said it not grant the complainant’s appeal to indict Corro of graft after finding no probable cause.

The Ombudsman explained “the act of classifying complainant’s abode and several others as situated within the danger/unsafe zones without proper reference to the CLUP and multi-hazard maps, albeit improper and careless, does not, by itself, establish the presence of manifest partiality, evident bad faith and/or gross inexcusable negligence” as required under Anti-Graft Law.