By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) hauled to court five barangay officials, including two barangay chairpersons, in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod for alleged anomalous distribution of government cash aid for those affected by the community quarantine.
Barangay Chairpersons Joseph Poral of Barangay Tacas in Iloilo City, and Kim Piramo of Barangay 19 in Bacolod City are both facing graft and corrupt charges for their alleged unjust distribution of cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
CIDG Chief for Western Visayas Police Lt. Col. Jun Balmaceda said that graft and corrupt charges were also filed against three of Piramo’s appointed officials, namely, barangay secretary Joemarie Cordeta, barangay treasurer Raiza Fronda and barangay health worker Jean Doromal.
The CIDG field unit in Iloilo received a complaint from a woman, alleging that she was made to fill out SAP forms by Barangay Tacas officials to be a SAP beneficiary. When the list was released, she found out she was not included and was told that DSWD dropped her. But upon verification, CIDG investigators found out that Poral was the one who ordered her to be removed from the list of qualified beneficiaries and not DSWD.
In the case in Bacolod, a person with disability (PWD) reported to CIDG that Piramo, Cordeta, Fronda and Doromal used their positions to personally choose SAP beneficiaries that included their relatives and close associates.
Aside from criminal charges, Balmaceda said that CIDG Bacolod Field Unit also filed administrative case against the four barangay officials before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Meanwhile, Balmaceda urged others to report any SAP irregularities and vowed that CIDG will investigate.