23 barangay officials facing criminal raps for alleged anomalies in SAP distribution
Twenty-three barangay officials are facing criminal charges for alleged anomalies in the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Monday.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has filed 12 criminal cases against 23 barangay officials before prosecutors of the Department of Justice.
Año said four more cases will be filed in the next few days, while 110 barangay officials are under “case build-up” after a total of 318 complainants’ nationwide reported graft and corrupt practices against them.
“The PNP- CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) will continue to file cases against corrupt barangay officials and their cohorts,” he said.
Año said most of the cases involved anomalies committed by punong barangays, barangay kagawads, barangay treasurers, barangay secretaries, barangay employees, purok leaders, and even social workers.
Cases for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act were filed by the PNP-CIDG against these barangay officials.
Año recently transferred the investigation of graft and corrupt practices against Barangay Officials from the DILG field offices to the PNP-CIDG to expedite the investigation and the filing of criminal charges.
Barangay officials facing complaints which are administrative in nature will still be issued show cause orders by the DILG and investigated by DILG field units for filing in the Office of the Ombudsman.
He said the PNP is pursuing the investigations and the filing of cases as the government is set to release the second tranche of the SAP emergency subsidy for low-income families later this month.
“As the second tranche of SAP is coming, we will not let this officials commit corruption again,” Año said.
According to Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, the anomalies committed by the barangay officials range from splitting, falsification of the masterlist, getting a “cut” or “tara” from the SAP beneficiaries, among others.
Malaya expressed disappointment that the national government and the people counted on the concerned barangay officials to be their anchor in this time of pandemic.
“The people are hoping that they can lean on them during this time of pandemic but they failed the citizens,” he said.
In Bacolod City, a punong barangay, barangay secretary, purok president and liaison officer to the barangay allegedly connived and took back P4,000 each from the possession of seven SAP beneficiaries after receiving their P6,000 individual cash aid.
A similar incident was reported in Peñablanca, Cagayan by a SAP beneficiary who filed a complaint against a barangay kagawad for demanding for the return of P4,000 from the P5,500 that she received as the kagawad inserted her name in the SAP master list of beneficiaries.
Splitting of SAP assistance and politics in choosing SAP beneficiaries were also noted in several areas.
In San Policarpo, Eastern Samar, a barangay official is under probe for delisting from the master list of beneficiaries those who did not support him during the last elections.
A barangay chairman in Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur is the subject of a complaint for putting unqualified and fictitious names in SAP beneficiaries.
In Tondo. a barangay chairman is the subject of the complaint of five individuals who claimed the official identified the SAP beneficiaries who are mostly his close friends and relatives to the detriment of other qualified beneficiaries.
In Lapu-Lapu City, a social worker is under investigation for facilitating the inclusion of her four relatives, an in-law, and her son’s girlfriend in the list of SAP beneficiaries even if they are not qualified.
Similarly, in Cebu City, a barangay health worker is the subject of a complaint after he included his in-laws in the master list even if they are not qualified.
Malaya said they will assure all these barangay officials will be held liable. Ella Dionisio/DMS