MANILA, Philippines – More than 500 local and barangay officials are being investigated over the alleged anomalies in the distribution of the cash subsidy under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
According to the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), a total of 505 local officials nationwide are under “case build-up” following allegations of their involvement in graft and corrupt practices amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
PNP-CIDG deputy director for administration Police Brigadier General Rhoderick Armamento said around 380 complainants went to their office from April 1 to June 1 to report the alleged wrongdoings of local officials during the SAP distribution.
Armamento said most of the barangay officials facing allegations are from Western Visayas.
Among the local officials under investigation are 104 barangay chairpersons, 70 are barangay councilors, and three are Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons.
The CIDG official also revealed the recent arrest they made involving three barangay officials from Olongapo City and Davao del Sur for allegedly ‘splitting’ the SAP cash aid of intended family-beneficiaries.
“Nagkaroon din po ang splitting, namagitan s’ya at diumano sa utos ng, may nag-utos sa kanya na, yun nga, hindi ibibigay lahat ang subsidy kundi babawasan… Hindi rin po na receive totally ng mga complainants yung amount na pinirmahan nila,” Armamento said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier said that “splitting” is among the top complaints leveled against erring barangay officials, in which they allegedly divide the SAP cash aid of one family to benefit other families.
Collecting “processing fees” and getting a cut from the SAP financial aid of beneficiaries also emerged as among the top complaints against some barangay officials.
Armamento said they have already lodged criminal complaints against more than 100 barangay officials over the alleged irregularities in the SAP distribution.
He also called on the public anew to report local officials who are involved in corrupt practices through the CIDG Facebook account, and hotline numbers 09773475267 and 09510593843. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
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