Isabela village chief, social welfare officer arrested

THE Municipal Social Welfare and Development officer (MSWDO) and a barangay chief in Isabela, Negros Occidental were arrested on Thursday and Friday last week for alleged irregularities in the distribution of cash assistance under the government's Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Cyclamen Jison Fernandez of the La Carlota City Regional Trial Court.

Ordered arrested were Isabela MSDWO Mae Fajardo and Barangay Captain Maria Luz Ferrer of Barangay 8, Isabela.

Fernandez recommended P72,000 as bail for the provisional liberty of Fajardo, who is now under the custody of the Isabela Police Station.

On Friday, September 11, the police served an arrest warrant to Ferrer for a similar violation. The warrant was issued by Judge Fernandez and dated August 13, a report from the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office stated.

The court recommended P162,000 in bail for the two charges filed against Ferrer, who is also in the custody of the Isabela police.

Police Captain Joseph Partidas, Isabela acting police chief, said the bails of Fajardo and Ferrer are under process as of Monday, September 14.

Based on the allegations against the two, which were made in May of this year, Ferrer and Fajardo were accused of "bias" in selecting beneficiaries, along with falsifying the list of beneficiaries.

The allegations were in relation to a report that Ferrer's 13-year-old granddaughter was among those listed to receive a P6,000 cash assistance.

Ferrer had already denied the allegations, pointing out the reports were false and were made by a person who had personal grudges against her.

She also pointed out that her 13-year-old granddaughter is an eligible recipient, as she is considered an orphan after being abandoned at seven months old by her father and her mother passing away.

She added that her granddaughter's real last name is Yurpo, not Ferrer.

The embattled village chief stated they will file counter charges against their accuser.

Fajardo, meanwhile, had not issued any comment on the allegations against her.

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