UP TO 57 individuals in Central Visayas, including 12 barangay captains, were charged by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG 7) for alleged anomalies pertaining to the distribution of the Special Amelioration Program (SAP) fund.
Aside from the 12 barangay captains, CIDG 7 also charged four barangay councilors, one barangay secretary, seven barangay health workers, three social workers, five barangay coordinators and five SAP coordinators for violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the Anti-graft and and Corrupt Practices Act, particularly the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for public officials.
The rest of those charged are 20 civilians who availed themselves of the government financial aid despite their being unqualified for it.
The civilians were charged with perjury for falsely declaring that they belonged to the “poorest of the poor.”
The charges were filed on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 before the Cebu Regional Trial Court.
According to CIDG 7 Deputy Regional Chief Police Major Ronald Alan Tolosa, his office is investigating 19 more cases as police continue to gather more evidence against the suspects.
“Most of the complaints were about unqualified beneficiaries and then there were also instances where instead of the P6,000 aid, only P4,000 was released to the beneficiaries,” Tolosa said in Cebuano.
Tolosa said the 20 civilians who were not qualified for SAP but received the financial assistance anyway turned out to be friends of the barangay officials.
The barangay captains who were charged are from Cebu Province (4), Cebu City (3), Mandaue City (1), Lapu-Lapu City (2), Negros Oriental (1) and Bohol (1).
“In our investigation, we have found that there are discrepancies, that one can’t receive financial assistance if you’re not close to the ones in power. This is one the things that happened,” said Tolosa.
Tolosa said they will continue to accept complaints from the barangays.
CIDG 7 investigators will visit the subject barangays to check if the beneficiaries were indeed qualified, Tolosa said.
Among the things investigators will look into is, if the beneficiaries have a family member working in the barangay, which could have been a reason for them to receive the SAP assistance although unqualified. (AYB, MMC)