Twenty-three barangay officials are facing criminal complaints for alleged anomalies in the distribution of the cash subsidy from the government's Social Amelioration Program, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Monday.
In a press statement, DILG chief Eduardo Año said complaints for alleged violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act have been lodged by the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP - CIDG) against these barangay officials before the Prosecutor's Office of the Department of Justice.
He said four more complaints would be filed in the coming days. He also said 110 barangay officials are presently under "case build-up" due to reports that they were involved in graft and corrupt practices in this time of health crisis.
"Sunod-sunod na ang pagsampa ng kaso ng PNP-CIDG laban sa mga tiwaling opisyal ng barangay at sa kanilang mga kasabwat sa mga anomalya sa pagbibigay ng SAP," Año said.
"Puspusan na rin ang imbestigasyon at case build-up para masigurong makakalaboso ang mga walang-hiyang tao na ito na nakuha pang manggantso sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan.”
According to Año , most of the reports involved anomalies committed by punong barangays, barangay kagawads, barangay treasurers, barangay secretaries, barangay employees, purok leaders, and even social workers.
Meanwhile, DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya bared that the irregularities committed by the barangay officials range from splitting the cash assistance, falsification of the masterlist, and getting a “cut” or “tara” from the beneficiaries, among others.
The PNP is doubling its efforts in pursuing the investigations and the filing of cases as the national government is set to release the second tranche of the cash aid for low-income families later this month, Año said.
“Nalalapit na ang pamimigay ng 2nd tranche ng SAP kaya hindi natin hahayaang makapanloko pang muli ang mga ito. Nakatutok ang kapulisan sa mga kasong ito dahil ayaw nating mas lalo pang maagrabyado ang mga SAP beneficiaries,” he said.
The agency has tasked the PNP-CIDG to conduct case build-up operations against corrupt local officials. It also sought assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the irregularities.
The DILG has also been requesting the public to continue reporting corrupt activities of the local chiefs in their localities. --Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News