211 elected public officials facing charges over SAP-related anomalies — PNP
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 211 elected public officials in the country are facing criminal charges over issues related to the national government’s social amelioration program (SAP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported Thursday.
During the hearing of the House committee on appropriations on the budget proposal of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for 2021, recently-installed PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said that 447 individuals are facing criminal charges related to SAP.
Of this number, 211 are elected public officials, 104 are barangay officials, and 132 are civilians.
Cascolan added that so far, only two individuals have been arrested since the start of the distribution of the government aid.
The number of arrested individuals remained the same as compared to the report of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to the House committee on good government and accountability in a hearing last August 26.
Meanwhile, as per other quarantine-related violations, Cascolan said 1,772 were arrested, around 120,000 individuals were fined, and 157,000 individuals were given warnings.
Their violations include disobedience and violation of curfew, said Cascolan.
During the August hearing, CIDG was asked about the low number of arrests over SAP-related violations.
CIDG Director General Joel Coronel explained that the directive by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate anomalies related to SAP was only given last May 21, which was already two months behind the date when the SAP distribution started.
“That’s why nagkaroon ng lull from the time the SAP distribution to the investigation. So most of the violations for the anomalous SAP distribution have already been committed. Hindi na natin nahuli,” Coronel said.
“What we are doing in coordination with DSWD and DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) regional offices we are documenting these cases already,” he added.
Under the SAP, each beneficiary will receive between P5,000 to P8,000 cash subsidy for two tranches based on the prevailing minimum wage rates in their respective regions.
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