Eighty-nine barangay captains will be preventively suspended for six months while they are being investigated for their involvement in irregularities in the implementation of social amelioration program (SAP), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.
“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,” President Duterte said during a public address.
“Now, ito suspendido muna for six months then maghi-hearing sa kaso mo. If a case is filed against you kasi pera ito eh, either pera na binulsa ninyo o hindi niyo ginamit o kung anong kabalastugan ang ginawa niyo sa pera contrary to my injunction na huwag na huwag ninyong gawain ‘yan.”
The barangays officials may face malversation charges, which is very a serious offense, he said. The President asked the Office of the Ombudsman to dismiss the elected officials from service if they are found guilty of corruption.
“Alam mo ang masakit diyan? When they are finally dismissed, it will always carry, the — it will always carry the — the dismissal will always be accompanied by statement that you are no longer eligible for public office,” he added.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted probes of local officials involved in anomalies in the implementation of the SAP, which gives cash subsidy to qualified beneficiaries to help them cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government extended cash aid to the country’s 18 million poorest families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and community quarantines under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) released the SAP’s first tranche from April to June with each family receiving at least P5,000 up to P8,000. PND