134 barangay execs facing criminal raps for alleged SAP anomalies – DILG
Robie de Guzman • May 26, 2020 • 267
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday reported that there are now 134 barangay officials who are facing criminal raps over the alleged anomalies in the distribution of cash aid under government’s social amelioration program (SAP).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the development represents a 320% increase in the number of barangay executives who are facing complaints before the Prosecutor’s Office of the Department of Justice for their alleged offenses.
Last May 20, the DILG reported that 42 barangay officials were charged by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in relation to the alleged SAP irregularities.
“Hindi ninyo matatakasan ang mga panlolokong ginawa ninyo sa pamimigay ng ayuda. Sinira ninyo ang tiwala ng gobyerno at ng inyong mga kabarangay kaya sa kalaunan, sa kulungan ang bagsak ninyo,” Año said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Año revealed that a total of 318 complainants went to the PNP-CIDG to report the alleged wrongdoings of their barangay officials during the SAP distribution.
The PNP-CIDG will file nine more cases in the next few days as it fast tracks the case build-up on 86 other cases, he added.
The DILG earlier said that “splitting” is among the top complaints leveled against erring barangay officials, in which they allegedly divide the SAP cash aid of one family to benefit other families.
Collecting “processing fees” and getting a cut from the SAP financial aid of beneficiaries also emerged as among the top complaints against some barangay officials.
DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said that politics was sometimes at play in the distribution of SAP in some areas where local executives allegedly deprived residents from receiving cash assistance because they are not among their political supporters.
“Ilang beses na naming inuulit. Hindi criteria ang pagiging kamag-anak o kakampi sa politika sa pamimigay ng SAP. Para ito sa mga kapus-palad ano man ang katayuan,” Malaya stressed.
Cases for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act were filed by the PNP-CIDG against these barangay officials, the DILG said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento earlier directed all prosecutors in the country to set the preliminary investigations, as soon as possible, to monitor the progress of such cases which have taken on “a sinister and disgraceful character, considering that money intended for poor hungry people is unlawfully taken away from them.”
“We are grateful to the DOJ and the Prosecutor General for prioritizing these cases. We need to send a strong message to corrupt barangay officials that their criminal activities will not be tolerated,” the DILG said.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to fly to Mindanao to meet with top officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the wake of the killing of four soldiers by policemen in Jolo, Sulu last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.
Año, however, did not disclose the date and place of the president’s upcoming meeting with police and military commanders.
The Interior Secretary, who supervises the PNP, also said that Duterte may possibly talk to nine policemen involved in the shooting of soldiers.
“The president is going to the south to talk to our PNP and AFP commanders, sabi ko nga kung may time pa siya ay kakausapin niya yung mga suspek,” Año said.
Malacañang said the president was saddened by the incident between the police and military officers.
He has also ordered for the National Bureau of Investigation to expedite the release of its probe findings.
The Palace also denied that the incident is the result of the alleged state-sponsored extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration as claimed by former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
“Hindi po natin kinukunsinte ang patayan kaya nga po masinsinang imbestigasyon ang ginagawa natin dito sa pagpatay sa 4 na sundalo sa hukbong sandatahan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Año echoed Roque’s statement as he assured that those responsible for the Jolo incident will be held accountable.
“Extrajudicial killing is not the policy of this government and the Sulu incident, we will exact justice and make sure those responsible shall be accountable, umasa kayo diyan. Ako mismo ang personal na nag-follow up ng kaso,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday urged local government units (LGU) to assist public schools in their respective areas and support the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the Department of Education (DepEd).
In a statement, DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said LGUs should use the special education fund (SEF) to support the localization of DepEd’s learning continuity plan and to assist public schools in their areas in adjusting to the ‘new normal’ in learning delivery modalities.
Malaya said local chief executives should immediately convene their respective local school boards to discuss which of the new learning modalities identified by the DepEd can be utilized in their respective areas.
They should also tackle allocations for the SEF, as well as identify and provide the necessary support to their teachers and learners, stressing that there is only less two months left before the next school year starts.
“In a crisis, we need all the help that we can get at ang SEF ay tulong na itinatadhana ng ating batas para sa pagpapanatili ng matibay na pundasyon at kalidad ng edukasyon sa ating bansa,” Malaya said.
“Hinihikayat natin ang LGUs na gamitin ito ngayong malaki ang kinakaharap na pagsubok ng ating sektor ng edukasyon,” he added.
Under the Local Government Code, the local school board (LSB) is a body created on the provincial, city, and municipal levels that determines the supplementary budgetary allocation the LGU can provide for the operation and maintenance of public schools nationwide, among others.
Section 272 of the Local Government Code states that “the proceeds from the additional one percent (1%) tax on real property accruing to the SEF shall be automatically released to the LSBs.”
Malaya said that the board’s function in providing support to public schools will be a big help in the implementation of the learning continuity plan this school year which “will be more challenging in comparison to the previous ones.”
“We may have a lot on our plate nowadays pero hindi natin kailanman dapat kalimutan ang edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan,” he added.
The DILG spokesperson also urged LGUs to assist in the enrollment activities by providing kiosk or center in the barangay for the distribution and collection of enrolment forms of learners in public schools in their respective areas and assisting schools in the delivery and collection of printed modules from the homes of the students.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said it will issue a show cause order against barangay officials who are allegedly involved in the conduct of a street dance and procession in Barangay Basak San Nicolas in Cebu City despite the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said he also directed the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to investigate and file charges against the organizers of the said event.
“We will not tolerate any violation of our quarantine protocols. Those responsible will be made to account. Hindi din naman tayo tumitigil sa pagpapaalala na napakalaki ng risk of transmission ng COVID-19 sa mass gathering and yet we see these kinds of activities and what makes it worse ay ang barangay na ito ay isang COVID-19 hot spot,” Año said.
“We will definitely get to the bottom of this. We have issued a show cause order against the officials who are involved in this blatant violation of the ECQ currently being implemented in Cebu City,” he added.
Año expressed his disappointment and frustration over the incident because the organizers still pushed for the event even if the said barangay is among the COVID-19 hotspots in the city.
Reports reaching the DILG stated that hundreds of people flocked to the street of Sitio Alumnos in Barangay Basak last June 27 to participate in a street dance and procession, which is in violation of the rules prohibiting mass gathering during community quarantine.
“We need people to practice discipline. They should know better dahil ang Cebu City ang may pinakamaraming kaso, dapat sila ang mas maingat,” the DILG chief said.
“We have nothing against the expression of devotion but in a time of crisis, kailangan mag-isip din naman tayo. Sa ganitong mga pagsuway mas maraming buhay tayong nilalagay sa kapahamakan. Disiplina Muna!” he added.
Barangay Basak San Nicolas is one of the 12 barangays in Cebu City placed under strict lockdown due to the high number of recorded COVID-19 cases based on the report of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Other barangays under lockdown include Sambag Dos; Kamputhaw; Sambag Uno; Mabolo; Guadalupe; Lahug; Duljo; Tinago; Tisa; Ermita; and Tejero.
According to the Department of Health, Cebu City has a total of 4,562 total cases as of June 28, 2020; of which 3,892 are active cases, 592 have recovered, and 78 died.
Año said that the DILG is expecting to hear the explanation of the involved local leaders on why no criminal and administrative cases should be filed against them.
The DILG chief also confirmed that a separate investigation on 21 barangay officials and individuals is also being conducted by the PNP-CIDG.
In a Facebook post, officials of the said barangay denied any involvement in the alleged mass gathering, saying that they did not authorize the conduct of the street dance and Sinulog procession but why they did not use their legal authority to stop the event from happening was not sufficiently explained.
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