More village execs in Cebu arrested for pandemic fund anomalies
CEBU CITY—Another set of village officials in Cebu province was arrested on Tuesday (Oct. 27) for alleged irregularities in the distribution of funds for the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), which was aimed at providing aid to poor households that lost sources of income during the pandemic lockdown.
Among those arrested were Santiago Sollano, chief of Managase village; Ruthlene Ybanez, village councilor; Nolito Ybanez, watchman and community leader and village health workers Noemi Bontia and Jessa Ursal—all from the town of Tabogon in northern Cebu.
Lt. Derrick Inot, acting police chief of Tabogon, said the arrest was made after Judge Glenn Jumao-as, of Regional Trial Court Branch 81 in Bogo City, issued a warrant for the five village officials in connection with a case of violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Inot said the arrested officials were charged with dividing the SAP funds and giving these “to other persons” who are not on the list of beneficiaries.
Earlier last week, the village chief and seven councilors of Tubod in Barili town surrendered to police after a warrant for their arrest was issued by the court over their alleged involvement in irregularities in SAP fund distribution.
The government, through the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, has set aside P200 billion for cash subsidies to households most vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic. Cash aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000, depending on regional minimum wages, were to be given to at least 18 million low-income families for at least two months.
The fund distribution was split in two tranches of P100 billion each.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.