50 village chiefs face suspension over SAP anomalies

FIFTY barangay chairpersons are likely to be placed under preventive suspension pending the investigation into their alleged involvement in anomalies related to the distribution of cash grants under the social amelioration program (SAP).

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in his report to President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night, August 10, 2020, said these 50 barangay chairpersons are being investigated for malversation, corruption, estafa and graft.

Of the 50, 26 are from the National Capital Region and Ilocos Region, 11 from Calabarzon, 10 from Cagayan Valley and three from Central Luzon.

Año said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) also filed 155 criminal complaints against local chief executives involved in such anomalies.

“Ako ay nakipag-ugnayan kay Ombudsman (Samuel) Martires at ang kanyang opisina at nai-submit na namin itong mga kaso na ‘to, at within the week po ay inaasahan namin na initially ay limampung (50) barangay captain ang magkakaroon ng preventive suspension habang iniimbestiga po ng Ombudsman ang administrative aspect ng kanilang mga kaso,” Año told Duterte.

Charges filed against the officials are violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, violation of RA 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, robbery extortion and grave threats.

SAP, which was provided under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, was created to provide cash assistance to poor families affected by the lockdowns implemented by the government in a bid to slow transmission of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Under the SAP, low-income families received a cash subsidy of between P5,000 and P8,000 a month. Some 18 million families received the first tranche while up to 23 million families received the second tranche. (SunStar Philippines)


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