19 more barangay execs face criminal raps over cash aid ‘tara’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) filed criminal complaints against 19 more barangay officials for alleged irregularities in the distribution of the cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
This is an increase from the 23 village officials charged for their alleged involvement in anomalies in the distribution of the first tranche of the SAP.
“DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that there are now 42 barangay officials who are facing criminal charges for SAP pay-out irregularities as of May 20, 2020, a huge jump from the 23 officials who were earlier charged criminally last May 17, 2020,” read the statement issued by the DILG.
The interior department said PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed cases for violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), and the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act against the barangay officials at the Prosecutor’s Office.
Año said most of the complaints that they received were rogue barangay officials “splitting” government’s cash aid for poor families.
“Malinaw ang batas at ang polisiya ng DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) na ang SAP cash aid ay para lamang sa pamilya ng nakalistang SAP beneficiary. Sapat lamang iyon para sa kanila at mahigpit na pinagbabawal ang paghahati-hati nito,” he said in the same statement.
(It is clear under the law that policies of DSWD that the cash aid is only for families listed under SAP beneficiaries. That is enough for them and it is illegal to split the amount of cash aid.)
Año said some barangay officials were also receiving a share from the financial subsidy for low-income families.
“Sa panahon ng krisis, naisipan pa ng mga barangay officials na ito na kumuha ng commission o ‘tara’ mula sa SAP beneficiaries. That is corruption at its finest. Hindi natin ito palalampasin,” he said.
(In the time of crisis, some barangay officials thought of getting a commission or tara from SAP beneficiaries. That is corruption at its finest. We will not let this slide.)
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the PNP-CIDG processed 374 complaints against 155 suspects in SAP anomalies from April 1 to May 19.
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