By Aaron Recuenco
The Western Visayas regional police has filed a case against a barangay captain in Isabela town of Negros Occidental for alleged irregularities in the distribution of cash assistance from the government under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, director of the Western Visayas regional police, said a case for graft and corruption was filed against Maria Luz Ferrer, barangay captain of Barangay 8 in Isabela town.
Aside from Ferrer, Pamuspusan said they also filed a case against the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) Officer of Isabela town identified as Mae Fajardo for allegedly falsifying the SAP documents in favor of the barangay captain.
“This should serve as a stern warning to all those who would dare to engage in anomalies involving the funds intended to the poor. In this time of pandemic, corruption has no place in Western Visayas,” said Pamuspusan.
The official said the investigation started from the complaints of concerned citizens about the anomalies involving Ferrer and Fajardo.
The complainants told the police that Ferrer included her 13-year old grandchild in the list of the SAP beneficiaries and also listed his well-off relative.
“The complainant also alleged that the barangay executive has bias in selecting the beneficiaries in his locality,” said Pamuspusan.
During the probe, Pamuspusan said his men found anomalies in the distribution of SAP and even obtained credible witness to pin down both Ferrer and Fajardo.
The investigation also resulted in the filing of charges against two local residents, Wizza Leal and Emmanuel Orsolon, for falsifying entries in the SAP form.
Earlier, President Duterte expressed his anger over the corruption in SAP distribution, citing a case in Bulacan wherein a barangay councilor demanded half of the cash assistance from his constituent.
Duterte also offered P30,000 for any information that could lead to the discovery of anomaly in SAP distribution.
For his part, Pamuspusan ordered all his commanders to establish hotlines and complaint centers in order to cater for complaints about irregularities in SAP distribution.