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PCC chief relieved of death of P300K buffalo

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by Allan Yves Briones

Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Research and Development Division Chief Annabelle Sarabia has been released of her accountability over the death of a female Italian Mediterranean buffalo worth P317,368.75.

In a decision by the Commission on Audit Commission Proper (COA-CP), held that there was no negligence on the part of Sarabia which resulted in the death of the prized animal.

“[T]his Commission finds in favor of the petitioner due to insufficiency of evidence showing that he failed to exercise the degree of care, which the prevailing circumstances reasonably requires, to prevent the death of the animal,” the decision stated.

On November 19, 2014, a buffalo under the case of then-Chief Operations Sarabia housed at Barangay Tayabo in Nueva Ecija died due to septicemia.

Immediately after, Sarabia sought “relief from property accountability” which was denied by the COA regional director for being filed out of time.

Allegedly, the PCC chief filed 71 days after the buffalo’s death which exceeded the 30-day reglementary period.

In granting Sarabia’s petition for review, COA-CP ruled that Sarabia complied with requirements of Presidential Decree No. 1445 with regards to the prescribed periods, even submitting the necessary documents.

“Ms. Sarabia also submitted supporting evidence which clearly show that the female Italian Mediterranean buffalo with Ear Tag No. IT2014 731 died due to illness,” COA said.

PCC is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture.

The three-man COA-CP panel was composed of Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose Fabia and Roland Pondoc.

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