By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has received 264 complaints against 728 individuals who were tagged in alleged anomalous activities involving the distribution of government cash assistance under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
In a statement on Friday, the CIDG said it was investigating and monitoring the 264 cases filed by 496 complainants from April 1 to June 17.
Of the total number of complaints, the CIDG said it has filed 157 cases in courts, 61 are still under investigation, while four were being readied for filing.
Among those charged for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were the chairmen, “tanod” (watchmen) and several cohorts in Barangay Calinaoan Malasin in Sto. Tomas, Batangas; and Barangay Punta in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
According to CIDG, the respondents facilitated the inclusion of unqualified individuals — such as their relatives, close friends, and supporters — in the list of SAP beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, five cases were endorsed or referred to other agencies while 37 cases couldn’t be filed “due to valid reasons.”
Among its local CIDG offices in the 17 regions nationwide, it said the office in Soccsksargen (Region 12) received the most number of complaints against barangay and government officials, and other probable suspects with 50 cases.
The region in south-central Mindanao covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and the highly urbanized General Santos City.
It was followed by the CIDG in Central Visayas (Region 7) with 26 cases.
President Duterte earlier ordered the police to arrest individuals, especially government officials, who will engage in irregular transactions in the distribution of cash aid for families affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.