Bermejo, Besana charged with ‘malversation’ over NFA rice


ROXAS City – Former Mayor Vicente Bermejo and former City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) head Cynthia Besana were charged with “malversation of public property” over the alleged delivery of eight sacks of National Food Authority (NFA) rice to Bermejo’s residence.

Mayor Angel Alan Celino filed the complaint against them before the Office of the Ombudsman the other day.

According to the complaint, Besana allowed the pull out of eight sacks of NFA rice from the CSWDO to be delivered to Bermejo’s residence in Brgy. Baybay in August 14, 2008.

The operation, done without an “issue slip” required in delivering government supplies, was logged at the CSWDO, the complaint said.

The complaint accused Bermejo of “persuading/inducing Besana” to deliver the rice to his house.
The complaint added that the sacks of rice were loaded in a government-owned L300 van driven by Joel Bermejo.

In his affidavit, Joel said Besana instructed him to deliver the rice.

Joel, a relative of Bermejo, had been with the CSWDO from September 1998 to December 8 last year.

He is currently assigned at the City General Services Office.

Celino said another case pertaining to the P1-million rice purchased by the CSWDO from the NFA on December last year may be filed against Bermejo and Besana.

The beneficiaries of the said rice were undetermined.

On Tuesday, Besana tried to regain her post as CSWDO chief without an order from the Office of the Mayor.

Besana went in the CSWDO with a letter from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) stating that her removal as head of the department was illegal.

But she later left the CSWDO after police personnel were dispatched reportedly to prevent her from causing trouble.

Bermejo, together with other government officials, is facing three more charges before the Office of the Ombudsman regarding an alleged “highly anomalous transaction” over government vehicles, missing “hot” lumber and failure to abate squatters occupying a private property.

He still keeps silent over these charges. Panay News had been trying to contact him through his mobile phone, but he cannot be reached./PN