By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño bared on Thursday the numerous nefarious acts committed by rogue barangay chairmen in the distribution of the subsidy under the social amelioration program (SAP).
Describing them as villainous and wicked stunts, Diño said it is exasperating to the highest degree to discover that errant barangay officials demand a share of the subsidy given to the poor people.
Based on the reports received by the DILG, Diño scolded the corrupt barangay chairmen for asking P1,000 or in some cases half of the amount the SAP recipients get.
The deceitful barangay officials claim that the amount will be used for lawful barangay expenses, which Diño insisted would be illegal.
Having been a barangay chairman in Quezon City for 13 years, Diño said it is next to impossible for him to be hoodwinked by the unscrupulous barangay officials.
Diño branded as unimaginable the deceitful practice of rogue barangay officials at this time of emergency crisis.
During the first few weeks of the quarantine period, a disgusted Diño said that the DILG received reports that SAP forms and quarantine passes were sold; relatives, supporters, and other unqualified residents were included on the list of beneficiaries; and in “unimaginable instances,’’ the names of the barangay chairman and other officials were in the said roster.
Diño guaranteed that the law will eventually catch up on the crooks of the barangays stating that details are currently being collated to establish air-tight cases against them.
The DILG has issued more than 100 show-cause orders to the barangay chairmen and officials in Metro Manila with the agency waiting for their response.
In the name of fairness, Diño assured the concerned barangay officials that due process will be applied.
Even with the outpouring of complaints, Diño encouraged the public to report their legitimate complaints on the malpractices of untrustworthy barangay officials.
Diño said the guilty parties will be charged for violation of Republic Act (RA) 11469, otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which gives the President additional power to issue policies to combat all COVID-19 concerns.
Referring to section 6 of RA 11469, Diño noted that erring public officials may suffer two months of imprisonment or pay a fine of P10,000 but not more than P1 million or both upon the discretion of the court.
Diño added they may also suffer perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification from holding public office.