Eastern Samar mayor refutes allegations she intervened in SAP distribution

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY - San Policarpo, Eastern Samar Mayor Thelma Nicart said that the charges hurled against her for allegedly intervening in the distribution of the P5,000-cash aid from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) were "politically motivated and false."

The official said that she has yet to receive the complaints for violations of Sec. 3(f) and (j) of the Republic Act 3019, in relation to RA 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act) filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection (CIDG-8) that were filed before the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

"I only found out on the internet. I haven't received the formal complaint yet and I am not aware of the accusations against me," she said in a statement.

The cases stemmed from the complaints of Barangay Chairman Rudy Picardal and some of his constituents in Barangay Tanauan, alleging that no one from their barangay received the cash assistance due to the intervention of the mayor.

The complainants further alleged that Nicart gave the SAP allocated for their barangay to other barangays since they were not political supporters of the mayor and her family.

"My lawyer and I are prepared to answer the allegations against me because I believe that this is politically motivated and false. I believe that I have not committed a sin and these allegations are baseless," she added.

Nicart also expressed disappointment that she was charged with "baseless accusations" amid the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, and the recent Typhoon Ambo that made its first landfall in their municipality.

"I will continue to serve as the mother of our town. I thank everyone who supports me in this crisis that we are facing. This case will not hinder me from serving San Policarpo," she said.

Read more: Eastern Samar mayor charged for alleged irregularities in SAP distribution