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Iloilo town mayor Fernandez found guilty of failing to remit GSIS, Pag-IBIG funds

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The anti-graft court has found a municipal mayor and treasurer of a town in Iloilo province guilty of violating the laws governing the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund.

The Sandiganbayan has found San Enrique, Iloilo Mayor Rosario Mediatrix Fernandez and municipal treasurer Imelda Celebrar guilty of 16 counts of violation of Section 52(c) of Republic Act 8291, or the “GSIS Act of 1997”, and 11 counts of violation of Section 3(a) of RA 9679, or the “HDMF Law of 2009”.

The anti-graft court ordered both Fernandez and Celebrar to each pay P700,000 fine.

Both the accused were charged by the Office of the Ombudsman for failing to remit GSIS contributions totaling P5.3 million for the period of January 2011 to October 2011, April 2012, and from June 2012 to October 2012.

The two accused also failed to remit Pag-IBIG contributions amounting to P620,000 from January 2011 to February 2011, April 2011, October 2011, from December 2011 to February 2012, from August 2012 to October 2012, and December 2012.

During their re-arraignment, the accused, assisted by counsel, manifested their intention to change their plea from “not guilty” to “guilty” after being informed of the nature and cause of the accusations against them.

Under the law, local chief executives and other responsible officers are mandated to remit GSIS and Pag-IBIG contributions within 30 days from the time that the same shall have been due and demandable.

The employees’ and employers’ GSIS contributions are due within the first 10 days of the calendar month following the month to which the contributions apply, while Pag-IBIG contributions must be remitted within 15 days from the date the same were collected unless another period is previously agreed upon between the employer and the fund, or within such periods as the fund may prescribe otherwise. (PNA)