Decision 2 A.M. No. P-04-1903(Formerly A.M. No. 04-10-597-RTC)
the period of September 2, 2002 up to the audit dates. Atty. Sarmiento wasappointed OIC after Atty. Apusen’s leave of absence from September 2,2002 and eventual optional retirement effective January 2, 2003. OnSeptember 10, 2002, the appointment of Atty. Sarmiento was confirmed bythe OCA.
It appears that as Atty. Sarmiento was preoccupied with her duties asBranch Clerk, she delegated the collections of all legal fees to respondentDonabel M. Savadera (Savadera), Cash Clerk II. Savadera collected and deposited various collections of the court and recorded the same in their respective cashbooks. She also signed on behalf of Atty. Sarmiento themonthly report of collections and deposits prepared by respondent Ma.Evelyn M. Landicho (Landicho), Clerk III. If Savadera was absent,Landicho and respondent Concepcion G. Sayas (Sayas), Social Worker,received the court collections.
The audit team discovered that there were cash shortages and that someofficial receipts (ORs) were missing or tampered with. It also found sometampered deposit slips. The findings of the audit team are summarized asfollows:As of March 8, 2004, the RTC Lipa City had outstanding collectionsamounting to P661,684.26. Of said amount, however, Savadera was able to present only P94,560.75 in cash, thereby having a cash shortage in theamount of P567,123.51. When Savadera was directed to produce theshortage, she told the audit team that aside from the cash on hand presented to them, she also had check collections in her locked table drawer. She,however, could not show them the said check collections at that time as sheforgot to bring her key. Savadera assured them that all her outstandingcollections will be deposited within the day.
Based on the duplicate/triplicate copies of ORs presented to the auditteam, Savadera’s shortage may be reduced to P85,505.03 as she has check collections in the total amount of P481,618.48, to wit:
[OR] No. Check No. Date of Check Amount
19287261 LBP 09087 11-20-03 P 2,300.0019287263 LBP 06954 09-19-03 2,900.0019287266 Prudential 0248795 10-23-03 9,075.0019287267 Prudential 0249474 11-12-03 24,380.0019287286 LBP 070960 11-28-03 2,000.0019287287 UCPB 5858158 09-09-03 45,020.0019287288 UCPB 5190789 11-14-03 18,286.7819287297 Keppel Bank 17833 11-27-03 377,656.70
, p. 3.
Id. at 4-5.
Id. at 5.