886 local officials face charges over irregular SAP distribution

Published July 8, 2020, 12:07 PM

by Chito Chavez

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday that 886 local government officials are facing various criminal and administrative complaints due to their alleged violations in the distribution of cash aid under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). 

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Out of the 886, 364 are elected and the rest are appointed,” said Año. He noted that “182 barangay officials are facing 182 administrative cases while 19 mayors have been given show-cause orders” for alleged violations regarding COVID19 protocols. 

Amid the surging COVID-19 cases, Año urged all local government officials to 

strictly enforce quarantine protocols to avoid the far more dangerous second wave of the pandemic. 

At present, the country has more than 47,000 COVID-19 cases with 1,309 deaths. 

Año had earlier vowed that the investigation against allegations of the mishandling of funds under SAP will be further intensified to make the guilty parties answerable to the law. He stressed that these offenses translate to economic sabotage especially when the country is reeling from the ill-effects of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The DILG asserted that all parties, whether barangay officials or private individuals involved in unscrupulous and deceitful cash distribution anomalies under the SAP, will be charged accordingly.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya 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 said.