Since the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program or the SAP, issues about it have been raised. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) found certain anomalies and mishaps in the SAP distribution.
Because of this, the DILG decided to suspend a total of 89 barangay captains nationwide. This six (6) month suspension was initially ordered and directed by the Office of the Ombudsman because of certain complaints about the SAP distribution.
What the SAP Was For
In case you forgot, the SAP was intended for the poorest families in the country. They were meant to be the funds that would help those who are flooded in the poverty to cross the current pandemic.
However, some barangay officials, particularly captains were caught redhanded about not following the correct and the appropriate ways. This was seen back when the first (1st) tranche of the SAP was released.
Eduardo Año, Secretary of the DILG, told Mayors of these barangays to implement a suspension order. This will be a warning to all barangay officials that corruption will not be tolerated.
Ang katiwalian ay walang puwang sa ating pamahalaan lalong-lalo pa ngayong panahon ng pandemya.”
In Translation: Corruption has no place in the Philippine government especially in this time of the pandemic.
Suspended Barangay Officials
The DILG suspended 89 barangay captains; they are distributed and divided by the following:
- Twelve (12) barangay chiefs in Region 1;
- Eleven (11) barangay chiefs in Metro Manila
- Ten (10) barangay chiefs in Region II
- Nine (9) barangay chiefs in Regions V and VII
- Eight (8) barangay chiefs in Region VI; and
- Seven (7) barangay chiefs in Region VIII
Cases Filed to These Barangay Chiefs
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit filed the case to these barangays. These were direct orders from the DILG.
Originally, the SAP was meant to help a total of 18 million households. They were supposed to get anywhere between P5,000 to P8,000 in amelioration packages during the first (1st) tranche. Then follows the second (2nd) tranche to fulfill the order of our dearest President Rodrigo Duterte.
The DILG suspended 89 barangay captains and the Ombudsman’s suspension order was dated on the 2nd of September. This ordered the 6-month suspension of the officials.
According to the order, there have been sufficient evidences that would support the complaints. Moreover, these proofs displayed strong manifestation of the following charges:
- Grave Misconduct
- Serious Dishonesty
- Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service
- Abuse of Authority
In case you’re not aware, these charges can be the reason for their removal from their positions.
Complaints to the DILG
Since the first few weeks after the distribution of the first (1st) tranche of the SAP; the DILG received a ton of complaints about misconduct and dishonesty in the distribution of cash subsidies. The complaints and the reports said that barangay chairmen were prioritizing relatives, friends, and allies in the SAP distribution.
Furthermore, there were also barangays who were caught asking for processing fees – which is not allowed. There were also other barangays who were dividing the cash aids intended for families within their regions/areas.
“To Weed Out Corruption”
Jonathan Malaya, the Spokesman of the DILG said that the mass suspension of barangay captains is the first occurrence. According to him, this move is to help weed out corruption in the country, particularly in the Philippine government.
The DILG suspended 89 barangay captains, but they’re not the ones who plotted for this. In fact, a total of 447 individuals received violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or the Republic Act (R.A.) 3019; the Bayanihan Act I or the Republic Act (R.A.) 11469; and the Code of Conduct of Government Officials and Employees or the Republic Act (R.A.) 6713.
132 of these are co-conspirator civilians; 104 appointed barangay officials; and 221 elected barangay officials. All the cases that were filed are being managed and handled by provincial and city prosecutors from all aroudn the globe.
If you are one of the people who filed a complaint, then you’re already being served justice. The DILG suspended 89 barangay officials who though that they would be able to get away with corruption that easily.
No mention of what happens to the money they got but one thing is for sure; they will face suspension and under that time, there will be more investigations about them and the funds that the seized.
What do you think about the DILG suspending multiple barangay captains? Furthermore, do you think that it’s just right for them to be caught?