The actual existence of more than P20-million worth of movable property in Valencia is in question, a report by the Commission on Audit disclosed. The reasons are: First, the municipality of Valencia under Mayor Rodolfo Gonzales, Jr., failed to submit an inventory report of its movable property; second, the municipality of Valencia did not complete the physical count of its movable property. Worse, the COA has been told that one of reasons why these properties could not be inventoried is because some of them “have been assigned to other duties and functions.” It is not certain what "them" the COA is referring to. As a result, the COA said there is no basis to say that these P20-million worth of movable properties actually exist. This has also elicited reactions from legal observers. If the COA is referring to the properties as having been asisgned to other duties and functions then it can be the subject of a criminal case. This is because the assigning public property to other public use could constitute technical malversation. Under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code, a public official can be liable for technical malversation if he is found to have applied public property under his administration to any public use other than that for which the properties were appropriated by law. Because the municipality of Valencia did not submit an inventory report, nor did it complete its inventory, the validity of the town’s account balances is also under question. The non-submission of an inventory report, and the non-completion of the physical count of movable properties runs counter to a COA circular that mandates the regular conduct of inventory. Section 156 of COA Circular No. 92-386, which contains the rules and regulations on supply and property management, requires an annual physical inventory of all supplies and property of every local government unit as of December 31 of each year. Valencia’s financial statements reflect P20,743,262.70 listed as office equipment, furniture, fixtures, machineries, transportation, and other property and plant equipment. But while listed in the financial statements, this amount cannot be validated, the COA said. Because the municipality of Valencia failed to complete the physical count, nor submit an inventory report of its properties, plus the lack of documents, the existence of these assets and the validity of the account balance could not be ascertained, the COA said. Concerned Valencia residents are pushing for a full blown investigation to find out: where are these questioned properties? Why can’t these properties be inventoried? To what “other duties and functions” have these properties been assigned? Who are the public officials responsible? Again, Valencia Mayor Rodolfo Gonzales, Jr. has been asked to explain this anomaly in his town, since public office is supposed to be a public trust.