3 barangay officials in Hagonoy, Bulacan charged over SAP ‘anomaly’
MANILA, Philippines — Three barangay officials of a village in Hagonoy, Bulacan were charged with graft and corruption by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) due to alleged anomalies in the distribution of funds from the government’s social amelioration program (SAP).
NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor on Thursday identified those charged before the Department of Justice on May 11 as Chairman Jason Mendoza, Kagawad Danilo Flores, and Executive Assistant Richard Bautista, who are all from Barangay San Agustin.
Distor said two other individuals identified as former barangay kagawad Levi Cosay and Regine Bautista, wife of the barangay’s executive assistant, were also charged for their alleged involvement in the anomaly.
Flores became the subject of the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte in his May 4 speech due to the alleged irregularities in the distribution of cash aid.
The NBI official noted that three complainants claimed that SAP beneficiaries in the village received P6,500 each on April 27 at San Agustin Elementary School.
In the afternoon of the same date, Flores, accompanied by a certain Michael Perez, then demanded from them P4,000 from the SAP cash subsidy they have received, according to Distor.
Flores allegedly claimed that the P3,500 will be given to Hagonoy Municipal Mayor Raulito Manlapaz Sr. while the remaining P500 will be given to the frontliners of the municipality of Hagonoy.
Further investigation revealed that Flores even threatened the complainants they will be blacklisted and eventually delisted as beneficiaries of all relief and amelioration grants of the government if they refuse to give the P4,000, according to Distor.
“Against their will, complainants gave back to subject Flores the amount of P4,000,” he said in an NBI report.
Citing statements from witnesses, Distor added that a total of P117,000 collected by Flores was turned over to Bautista and his wife.
“Witnesses further averred that it is common knowledge in their barangay that being the executive assistants, which position requires the barangay chairman’s trust and confidence, subject Bautista has indeed gained the confidence of Chairman Mendoza, thus they believe that subject Bautista could not have acted on his own without the imprimatur of his boss, incumbent chairman Mendoza,” added the NBI official.
Duterte is offering P30,000 to those who can provide information on government officials pocketing cash from SAP.
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