POLICE have charged 301 barangay officials over their alleged involvement in anomalies in the distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP) cash assistance, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Wednesday, June 3.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said 381 complainants served as witnesses against the barangay officials.
The charges were violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, RA 11469 known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and RA 11332, or Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases.
Malaya said the CIDG is conducting a case build-up against 76 more barangay officials.
“Hindi po hihinto ang DILG at ang PNP sa paghabol sa mga kurakot na barangay, LGU officials, at personnel na ito. Secretary Año has personally directed the PNP to ensure that cases are filed para maparusahan ang mga ito sapagkat talaga namang nakakagalit na sa panahon ng krisis kung kailan kailangang-kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ng tulong ay nagagawa pa nilang manloko ng mga kabarangay nila,” he said.
“Patuloy po ang pagtanggap namin ng mga sumbong and we encourage our kababayans na ireport ang mga ganitong uri ng kalokohan,” he added.
Among those charged were 57 barangay chairpersons and 57 barangay councilors. Others were barangay secretaries, health workers, treasurers, and a Sangguniang Kabataan chairman along with at least 125 civilian co-conspirators.
Among those charged were Punong Barangay Ariel Hiquina of Barangay San Vicente, San Jacinto, Pangasinan together with his accomplices barangay health worker Elizabeth Oligan and municipal health worker Nancy Bombarda; and Punong Barangay Edison Franco together with his cohorts including the barangay treasurer, health worker, and day care worker of Barangay Balite, Villaba, Leyte.
Malaya said based on reports, Hiquina and his cohorts were involved in splitting SAP aid intended for just one household.
Franco, on the other hand, was allegedly involved in deducting P1,600 from the SAP subsidy of one household in the guise of giving it to other families who were not listed as beneficiaries.
“These officials do not operate alone kaya itong si Oligan was later on identified to have been allegedly working with the kapitan at isang tao ng munisipyo kaya sila ngayong tatlo ay nahaharap sa kasong paglabag sa Section 3(e) ng RA 3019 at Section 6(a) naman ng RA 11469,” Malaya said. “These are cases on the ground that we encourage the residents to report kaya patuloy ang paghikayat namin na kanila na maglakas-loob at isumbong ang mga walang pusong ito at we will ensure na ito ay maaksyunan,” he added.
The charges were filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. (SunStar Philippines)