TWO village chiefs in Mandaue City who are facing cases for their alleged involvement in anomalies related to the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) are questioning the decision of the anti-graft office to suspend them for two months.
Barangay Alang-Alang chief Patricio Soco filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, while Barangay Centro chief Ignacio Cortes will file the same within the month.
Soco told SunStar Cebu he decided to file an MR after the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the criminal charge filed against him by one of his constituents for allowing the husband of his barangay’s secretary to receive the first tranche of SAP.
Soco said the prosecutor’s office dismissed the case against him after finding out that his secretary’s husband was eligible to receive the cash aid from the national government.
While waiting for the Ombudsman’s reply to his motion, Soco said he will still face his preventive suspension that took effect Oct. 26.
Like Soco, Cortes was also charged after three residents in his barangay filed a complaint against him over anomalies related to the SAP distribution.
But Cortes said since he didn’t receive a subpoena to answer the allegations against him, he assumed that the complaints were dismissed.
He was only surprised to receive a preventive suspension order at his barangay last month.
Soco and Cortes are facing charges for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
While both village chiefs are serving their suspensions, their first councilors are serving as acting village chiefs in their stead. / KFD