DILG to PNP: Go after local officials behind dishonest SAP distribution
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct investigation and arrest local officials involved in anomalies during the distribution of cash aid under the government’s social amelioration program (SAP).
“I am directing PNP units all over the country and also requesting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to prioritize the investigation of graft and corruption cases against local officials on SAP distribution,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
“Greedy and corrupt officials should have no place in the government. They are carriers of a malignant virus that destroys the trust the people gave to them,” the DILG chief added.
In a separate interview, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said PNP can arrest local officials if it is proven that they steal government’s cash aid intended for poor families.
“Ito yung pinapaimbestigahan ni Sec. Año sa ating mga kapulisan. Kahapon naglabas siya ng memo sa PNP, na lahat ng units ng PNP pwedeng tumanggap ng ganitong klaseng reklamo at kung may basehan, they can investigate and make arrests,” he said over radio station dzMM when asked about reported corrupt local officials.
(This is what Sec Año wants police to investigate. Yesterday, he sent a memo to the PNP that all PNP units can receive these complaints and if there is basis, they can investigate and make arrests.)
The order was issued after the arrest of Danilo Flores, a barangay kagawad of Hagonoy in Bulacan province, for allegedly stealing more than half of P6,500 financial aid from SAP funds.
Año was dismayed over the reports of alleged corrupt officials as he stressed that the cash assistance must be given to poor families to cope with the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nakakahiya! Ang SAP ay kinuha mula sa kaban ng bayan bilang ayuda sa mga salat sa buhay at walang kabuhayan sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis. Hindi ito dapat ibulsa ng sinumang opisyal ng lokal na gobyerno,” he said.
(This is embarassing! The SAP was sourced from government funds as assistance for those without jobs amid the COVID-19 crisis. This should not be pocketed by any official from the government.)
Año added they will not tolerate similar illegal actions, noting that they will impose sanctions to corrupt local officials.
In a televised address on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte hurled expletives at Flores for pocketing government’s cash aid.
Duterte also made a pronouncement that P30,000 reward will be given for those who will report government officials stealing cash subsidy from SAP.
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