The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today announced that 301 barangay officials are now facing criminal charges after the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group completed the investigation/case-build up on their reported anomalies in the pay-out of the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program.
“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,” says DILG Underscretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya.
He says that the 301 barangay officials facing criminal cases as of June 2 is just the latest figure reported to the DILG, hence, people should expect the filing of more criminal cases in the coming days while 76 more are under case buildup.
A total of 381 complainants went to the PNP-CIDG and its regional field units to give statements regarding the corrupt practices of their barangay officials in the SAP distribution, he says.
Based on the latest report of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), punong barangays with 57, barangay kagawads with 57 comprising a huge chunk of those currently facing criminal cases.
Barangay secretaries, health workers, treasurers, SK chairman and even officials and employees of the LGUs have also been charged with criminal cases. Meanwhile, 125 civilian co-conspirators have also been filed with criminal cases.
He says that the 301 barangay officials were charged with 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 says that as the 2nd tranche of SAP financial assistance is set to be distributed to the poorest of the poor, the DILG together with the PNP will continue to accept complaints and investigate these reports. “Patuloy po ang pagtanggap namin ng mga sumbong and we encourage our kababayans na ireport ang mga ganitong uri ng kalokohan.”
He also lauds the bravery of the residents who reported these cases saying that “a huge part of this success ay dahil sa lakas ng loob at katapangan ng ating mga kababayan na nagreport ng mga tiwaling opisyal at kawani na ito. Salamat po.”
Reported cases of corruption in barangays
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 were among the ones charged with criminal cases for allegedly splitting the SAP aid intended for just one household.
According to Malaya, reports from the ground stated that sometime on the last week of April 2020 complainants were given Social Amelioration Card (SAC) Forms to fill-up and were reportedly told by Oligan that one SAC Form will be divided to two, meaning two persons will share for the Php 5, 500 financial assistance.
“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 says.
An amount of P1,600.00 was reportedly likewise deducted from the recipients’ SAP financial aid leading to criminal cases filed against Punong Barangay Edison Franco together with his cohorts who are also officials of Barangay Balite, Villaba, Leyte. Reports said that Franco, in cahoots with his barangay treasurer, health worker, and Day Care teacher, allegedly devised a scheme by deducting P1,600.00 to be collected and given allegedly to residents who were not included in the list of beneficiaries.
“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,” Malaya says.