By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The Police Regional Office (PRO-6) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-6) have filed criminal charges against 39 persons in Western Visayas region for alleged anomalies in the distribution of government cash aid for those affected by the community quarantine.
A lady complainant (left) takes an oath before a prosecutor in Iloilo City as graft and corrupt charges are filed against Barangay Capt. Joseph Poral of Tacas village, Iloilo City. Poral allegedly removed her as SAP beneficiary. (CIDG Iloilo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Of the 39, 11 were barangay chairpersons and eight barangay councilors.
These elected village officials were among those charged for alleged graft and corruption for their role in the unfair distribution of cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), which is funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“We appreciate the courage and cooperation of the community in reporting the alleged anomalies in the distribution of SAP in their respective barangays,” said PRO-6 Acting Spokesman Lt. Col. Gilbert Gorero.
Alleged violations included deduction of cash aid from beneficiaries, or removing qualified persons from the list of beneficiaries and replacing them with the names of their relatives or close associates.
Aside from the elected barangay officials, criminal charges were also filed against a municipal social welfare and development (MSWD) officer, eight barangay secretaries, five barangay health workers, a purok leader, two liaison officers, and three civilians.
PRO-6 did not provide the areas in the region where these cases were recorded, but CIDG has earlier reported that cases have been filed in Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Capiz province, and Negros Occidental province.