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Purok leader, two others caught in alleged SAP scam

A purok leader and two alleged fixers of the Special Amelioration Program (SAP) were arrested in an entrapment operation on Wednesday afternoon.

The suspects were identified as Merlinda Odin, 63, purok leader of Lower Binugao, Toril; Mercel Odin, 39, and Judith Mangoga, 20, all residents of the area.

Capt. Rosario Aguilar, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office, said that the complainant Josephine Mendote, 53, was allegedly approached by Mercel Odin in the second week of April.

She was promised to be included in the SAP list even if shes not qualified to be a beneficiary in exchange for P2,000. However, Mendote later learned that she was, in fact, listed in the cash subsidy program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Mendote narrated that the purok leader, Mercel’s mother-In-Law, will help facilitate her requirements for faster approval. Later, she was able to talk to Merlinda who echoed what Mercel told her.

As a result, the DCPOs Special Operation Group, led by Lt. Col. Noel Asumen, and Toril Police Station, led by Maj. Jason Baria, conducted the entrapment operation at the barangay hall of Binugao, resulting to the arrest of the suspects.

Operatives also recovered the P2,000 pesos from the possession of Judith Mangoga.

Moreover, during the investigation, the police found out that Mendote is really qualified for the SAP program, considering that she meets the qualification as a beneficiary.

Aguilar said the three suspects will be facing a charge for violation of Article 315 (Estafa) of RPC, RA 11469 (Bayanihan To Heal As One), and RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices). They were brought to the DCPO for documentation and endorsed to the Toril police for detention.

Recently, Police Regional Office XI director, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, warned to go after barangay officials who are involved in anomalies during the distribution of SAP. This is in compliance with the directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

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