By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – A criminal complaint for alleged irregularities in the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) benefits was filed on Wednesday against the chairman of a barangay in Toboso, Negros Occidental.
Charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and violation of RA 11469, or the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, were filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office here against Barangay Salamanca Chairman Romeo Sultan.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) – Negros Occidental, led by Lt. Col. Anthony Gantang, said Sultan allegedly did not properly screen the qualified beneficiaries but, instead, prioritized those who were allegedly beneficial to his personal interest.
A SAP beneficiary affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was entitled to P6,000 cash aid from the national government.
According to the complainant and witnesses, Sultan was allegedly involved in the irregular identification and inclusion of disqualified SAP beneficiaries in their barangay, a report from the CIDG said.
A separate administrative case for violation of RA 6713 or the Code of Ethical Standard of Public Official will be referred at the Office of the Ombudsman upon resumption of its services.
The CIDG said that such irregularities in the distribution of government cash aid perpetrated by erring public officials will be investigated properly.
Sultan has yet to comment on the allegations made against him.