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SAP fallout

24 elected officials in Region XI face raps for corruption


TWENTY-FOUR elected and appointed public officials in Davao Region are facing a criminal charge following the investigation into the alleged anomalies in the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) payouts.

They are part of the 437 individuals who have been found to have dipped their hands into the government assistance to the sectors most affected by the pandemic. Meanwhile, 626 others are still under investigation to determine their liability.

Alex Roldan, Department of Interior and Local Government XI regional director, said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has submitted the result of the probe to the national headquarters.

Of the 24 officials, 16 are barangay chiefs, three are village councilors, five barangay secretaries, five community health workers, nine purok leaders, five civilians, and one daycare teacher.

On a regional level, 50 cases were filed in Region XII, 40 cases in Region VI, 33 cases in Region VII, 30 cases in Region IV-A, 26 cases in Region VIII, 24 cases in Region XI, and 21 cases in National Capital Region.

There are also 16 cases in Region V, 14 cases in Region 4B; 15 cases in Region I, 14 cases in Region II, 12 cases in Region 10; 12 cases in CARAGA, 10 in Cordillera Administrative Region; and two in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Maj. Milgrace Driz, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Davao City, head

told TIMES on Monday that the common tactic used by the suspects was to demand a cut of the subsidy from the SAP beneficiary to guarantee their spot on the masterlist.

“There are some who complained that the barangay was asking for P200, and there are others who were not qualified but added to the list,” she said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said they will continue to go after the corrupt government officials and their conspirators.

“It’s disheartening that they could even think of stealing from the subsidy for fellow Filipinos who were severely affected by the pandemic,” he said.

He said that of the 437 cases filed before the various prosecution offices of the Department of Justice, 203 were elected public officials, including a municipal mayor, city or municipal legislators, barangay captains, barangay councilors, and Sangguniang Kabataan members.

Also included in their charge were barangay secretaries, barangay treasurers, barangay health workers, homeowner’s association Officers, purok leaders, City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development officers, SAP enumerators, and daycare teachers.

The DILG chief added that the majority of the cases filed were violations on Republic Act (RA) 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; RA 11469 or Bayanihan Act; and RA 11332 or Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases, among others.

“Our fight against corruption would be as tough as our campaign against COVID-19,” he added. “It is difficult to hurdle but we will not stop until we punish the corrupt.”

Of the 336 cases, 240 were already filed with the Prosecutors Office, three are for case filing, six were endorsed to other agencies, 46 are under investigation or case build-up, and 41 were dismissed for lack of probable cause or insufficient evidence.

Año is confident that there will be lesser complaints on anomalies now that the second tranche of the SAP is distributed through electronic means.

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