Former Iriga mayor in ₱31-M fund mess
By Ruel Saldico
THE Iriga City government is gearing up to file a series of charges against former Mayor Madelaine Yorobe Alfelor and her department heads over the alleged misappropriation and disbursement of ₱31.042 million from the Gender and Development Fund.
During a series of seven legislative inquiries held between August 3, 2023, and October 11, 2023, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod unearthed a concerning revelation. It was determined that 15,000 recipients of Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) had not received any financial aid from the local government.
The most disconcerting aspect of this scandal is the forgery of beneficiaries’ signatures, some of whom have passed away, despite no cash disbursement ranging from ₱1,500 to ₱2,000 ever occurring through the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Lilibeth Pangga, a businesswoman from Del Rosario Banao village, expressed her shock and frustration upon discovering her name on the list of beneficiaries. She attended the inquiry to set the record straight about never receiving the promised cash assistance.
Susan Llagas, a 38-year-old resident of Sta. Maria village with a special-needs child, was equally emotional. She unwittingly signed the payroll during the inquiry, revealing the extent of the scam.
Maridel Verrosa, Iriga City’s social development welfare officer, faces on October 11, 2023 the city councils legislative inquiry on the alleged anomalous transactions involving P31-M fund. The City’s former mayor was one of those implicated in the mess.
Asuncion Taduran, a 72-year-old from Sta. Maria village, strongly contested the signature on the payroll, asserting it was not hers. Asked for her message to those who used her name, Taduran emphasized the importance of justice and the fear of God.
Maridel Verrosa, the City Social Development Welfare Officer, openly admitted during the legislative inquiry that no disbursement had occurred. She also revealed screenshots of her conversations with individuals involved in urging her to fix the situation.
Vice Mayor Edsel Dimaiwat addressed the more than 15,000 victims of the scam and expressed his sympathies, highlighting the local government’s failure to provide the intended assistance.
Former Mayor Madelaine Yorobe Alfelor, Ruben Delos Santos, Jean Bongon, and Elvin Mabansay, who were invited to defend themselves, failed to appear at the inquiry.
Allegedly former Mayor Alfelor’s anomaly was discovered by Mayor Oliva sometime in June 2022 when he assumed office as acting mayor following the suspension of ex mayor alfelor.
Lawyer Shane B. Beriña-Imperial, the city’s legal officer, confirmed that they are preparing potential cases against those involved, including administrative charges, anti-graft and corrupt practices, and possibly election offenses.
The Trending headlines attempted to reach former Mayor Madelaine Yorobe Alfelor for comment via Facebook messenger, but she declined to provide any statement at this time.