By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said that the agency has not given any order to the localities to grant financial aid under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III however, stressed that the DILG will not get in the way of local officials if they see the need for them to provide non-food and food assistance to their constituents.
He added that the DILG does not expect the LGUs to provide cash aid but welcomes the gesture if they wish to do so.
Densing’s explanation came on the heels of numerous queries of some citizens expecting more financial aid from the government.
Earlier, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) reminded the public that government personnel are not entitled to food and non-food assistance.
CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada explained that there is no need for government employees to receive any aid since they have continuously received their salaries.
She said that the government employees should be honest enough to refuse any aid from the government in case the barangay officials visit their residence to offer them non-food or food assistance.
Also, the DILG vowed to relentlessly pursue investigations against corrupt barangay officials and their cohorts until all of them are put behind bars.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) which handles the corruption complaints against the barangay officials is up on its toes in conducting case build-ups in a bid to gather air-tight evidence for the charges to prosper in court.
He also cited Justice Department Secretary Menardo Jimenez for asking the prosecutor’s office to prioritize the preliminary investigation of the corruption charges filed against the barangay officials to elevate the cases before the courts.
Malaya warned that all parties whether barangay officials or private individuals involved in unscrupulous and deceitful cash distribution anomalies under SAP will be charged accordingly.
He insisted that unqualified SAP cash aid recipients are still liable for unlawfully receiving the financial assistance at the expense of the poorest among the poor.
“Return of the aid will not extinguish their criminal liability,’’ Malaya concluded. (Chito Chavez)