A total of 42 barangay officials are facing criminal complaints over alleged irregularities in the distribution of cash subsidy from the Social Amelioration Program, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday.
"Mayroon na tayong 42 barangay officials na hinabla natin kahapon dahil sa katiwalian. Binulsa nila 'yung SAP, humingi ng porsyento doon sa nakatanggap so 'yun po ay may criminal cases na haharapin sa korte at puwede kayong makulong sa ginawa niyo..." DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told Dobol B sa News TV.
"Nasa piskalya na po ang mga kaso nila... Hayaan po nating gumulong ang prosesong hudikatura" he added.
Administrative cases will also be filed against these accused barangay officials, according to Malaya.
In a separate statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the latest number of accused barangay officials is an 80% increase from the 23 barangay officials who were earlier reported by the agency.
Año said “splitting” the cash assistance is among the top complaints lodged against erring barangay officials in which they supposedly divide the SAP cash aid of one family to benefit other families in the locality.
“Malinaw ang batas at ang polisiya ng DSWD na ang SAP cash aid ay para lamang sa pamilya ng nakalistang SAP beneficiary. Sapat lamang iyon para sa kanila at mahigpit na pinagbabawal ang paghahati-hati nito,” he said.
The complaints filed are for alleged violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, Año said.
The DILG has tasked the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 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.
According to Malaya, the PNP-CIDG has processed a total of 374 complainants against 155 local officials from April 1 to May 19. He said majority of these officials are barangay chairpersons and their associates.
Malaya said there were also complaints received against barangay councilors, barangay secretary or treasurer, municipal councilor, barangay health workers (BHW), purok leaders or Home Owners Association (HOA) presidents, liaison officers, DSWD social worker, SK Chairman, and day care teacher.
The agency earlier said 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 DILG has also been requesting the public to continue reporting corrupt activities of the local chiefs in their localities. — RSJ/AOL, GMA News