More than 80 barangay captains are facing preventive suspension due to alleged anomalies in the distribution of cash assistance under the Social Amelioration Program, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.
"Bukod po sa mga criminal charges na nai-file ng CIDG against these suspects, almost 200 plus na po ang nandoon sa prosecutor's office at about 80 na po andoon na sa korte," Año said during a budget deliberation at the House of Representatives.
"Kami rin po sa DILG ay nagfile ng administrative cases sa Ombudsman, 93 na po ang nai-file namin. Magandang balita naman po dahil this week po ay nag-issue na ang Ombudsman para sa preventive suspension ng 86 barangay captains. Ito po ay isang malaking development," he added.
Año said the number of local officials who will be sanctioned would still increase as the government will continue to run after those who are engaged in corrupt activities amid the cash aid distribution.
"Ito po ay patuloy na tataas ang numero sapagkat hindi po tayo titigil hanggang di po naparusahan ang lahat ng nagbulsa at nagcorrupt ng pera ng SAP," he said.
The DILG had said irregularities committed by the barangay officials range from splitting the cash assistance, falsification of the master list, and getting a "cut" or "tara" from the beneficiaries, among others.
The agency also tasked the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to look into SAP anomalies.
PNP chief Police General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan said over 400 individuals are slapped with criminal charges due to alleged SAP irregularities. Of that number, more than 200 are elected public officials.
"Mayroon po tayong mga indibidwal na 447 na humaharap po sa criminal charges, 211 po ang elected public officials, 104 ang barangay and city personnel and 132 civilians," Cascolan said. — RSJ, GMA News