Duterte asks Ombudsman to dismiss barangay execs involved in corruption

Published January 19, 2021, 8:58 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to dismiss barangay officials who will be found guilty of corruption allegations.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on January 18, 2021. (ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULELTIN)

The President made the request after reading aloud the names of 89 barangay captains placed under preventive suspension for alleged irregularities in the distribution of the social amelioration program during his public address Monday night. The concerned village officials from Metro Manila and other regions are under investigation over complaints of alleged fund anomalies.

“Preventive lang ito. Suspendido ka habang iniimbestiga ka (This is preventive. You’re suspended while you’re being investigated). Then, at the end of the investigation, if you are good, then you are exonerated,” Duterte said during his speech aired on state television.

“But if you are guilty, I am asking now the Ombudsman, I’m most respectfully requesting the Ombudsman to dismiss them from the service,” he added.

In his public address, the President identified 11 barangay captains in Metro Manila, 11 from the Cordillera Administrative Region, 12 in Region I (Ilocos Region), 10 in Region II (Cagayan Valley), three in Region III (Central Luzon), 4 in Region IV-A (CALABARZON); four in Region IV-B (MIMAROPA); nine in Region V (Bicol Region); eight in Region VI (Western Visayas); nine in Region VII (Central Visayas); seven in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas); three in Region X (Northern Mindanao); five in Region XI (Davao Region); and one n Region XIII (Caraga Administrative Region).

He said these village officials have been placed under preventive suspension for six months by the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the alleged SAP anomalies. “Iyong mga pera na kaya ‘yung ibang mga hindi nakatanggap kasi kinontrol (The funds were not received because they were supposedly controlled),” he said.

Duterte said that he already warned against the messing with the distribution of the government’s relief assistance to families affected by the pandemic.

“I warned you, pag-umpisa pa lang sinabi ko, do not f* with this, itong pera sa Pantawid. Iyong panahon ng COVID na namigay ang gobyerno ng pera para sa mga mahirap. Sinabi ko na, lalo na sa barangay level, huwag na huwag ninyong gawin (I warned you from the start, do not f*with the relief funds. During the time of COVID, the government distributed money to the poor. I told you especially the barangay level not to mess with it),” he said.

“In the meantime na naghi-hearing ‘yung kaso, suspended kayo. But eventually, ito puro lahat malversation ito of public funds which is very serious (While there is a case hearing, you’re suspended in the meantime. But eventually, this is malversation of public funds which is very serious),”he added.

The government has distributed cash subsidies to low income families and displaced workers affected by the pandemic. The funds, sourced from the Bayanihan law, aimed to help the affected sectors cope with the coronavirus quarantine that weakened the economy in recent months.