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Tigas ng mukha! Ex-provincial council member Cabarios gets 40 years for stealing P100,000 indigent fund

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Former Zamboanga Sibugay council member Eric Cabarios has been slapped with a jail term of up to 40 years for pocketing more than P100,000 in financial assistance for the poor.

In a decision, the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division found Cabarios guilty of five counts of graft and five counts of malversation of public funds through malversation of public documents.

Court records show that in 2010, Cabarios conspired with provincial board employees Michelle Navalta and James Ismael Revantad in encashing checks totaling P106,828 from from the provincial government’s fund.

The three conspired to falsify the disbursement vouchers and several other supporting documents to make it appear that the amount was distributed as financial assistance to alleged beneficiaries of the provincial government’s Aid the Poor Program.

However, the court indicated that the prosecution was able to show that the beneficiaries were “considered fictitious or non-existing because they could not be located….despite the audit team exhausting all efforts to locate them”.

Meanwhile, the court ordered the cases against Navalta to be temporarily archived since she remains at large, while Revantad has just surfaced.