PNP to go hammer and tongs vs 405 for SAP aid anomalies

PHILIPPINE National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director, Major General Joel Napoleon M. Coronel, yesterday said a total of 405 persons are under fire for their alleged involvement in anomalies regarding the distribution of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash subsidy.

“We are going hammer and tongs against unscrupulous local government officials who have taken advantage of this program for their own benefit,” said the official in the wake of their ongoing investigation into the graft and corrupt practices in the SAP distribution which has incurred the ire of President Duterte.

In a report to PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the PNP-CIDG director said that apart from continuously monitoring complaints and reports on the anomalous distribution of the cash aid, they have already accepted 169 cases forwarded by 307 complainants against 405 probable suspects including barangay officials and private individuals.

Coronel said out of these cases, 87 are still under investigation, while 9 cases have been readied for filing. Already, the CIDG has filed 74 cases for violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices against a number of identified suspects before the courts, their cases also endorsed to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Recently, the official said his men filed charges for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in relation to RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act against a number of respondents in Regions 1,5,7 and 9.

In Region 1 (Ilocos-Pangasina), he said that additional charges for violation of Article 172 (Falsification by Private Individual and use of falsified documents) of the Revised Penal Code were filed last Thursday before the Vigan City Prosecutor’s Office against 10 respondents led by a village chief in Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur.

Three other similar cases were filed last Friday by the CIDG before the Lingayen and Vigan City prosecutor’s offices respectively against the chairman of Bgy. San Isidro Norte in Binmaley, Pangasinan; a municipal councilor and the chairman of Bgy. Balogo, also in Binmaley; and the chairman of Bgy. Nagsayaoan in Sta.Maria, Ilocos Sur.

The municipal councilor of Binmaley was also charged with grave coercion.

In Bicol region, CIDG agents last Saturday filed charges before the Albay and Sorsogon prosecutor’s offices against the chairman of Bgy. Cararayan in Tiwi, Albay and four officials of Bgy. Binisitahan del Sur in Magallanes, Sorsogon and six others.

Coronel said also last Saturday, his men filed similar charges against a barangay chairman, a social worker and two others in Bgy. Baring, Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and the chairman of Bgy. Talolo in Tagbilaran City, Bohol as well as one of his ‘kagawad’ and two others.

The CIDG likewise filed similar charges against three officials of Bgy. Talanusa in Margosatubig, Zamboanga Del Sur and three social workers and the chairman of Bgy. Canelar in Zamboanga City before local prosecutor’s office.

Another case for violation of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees was also filed by CIDG Region 9 investigators against three social workers and the chairman of Bgy. Canelar.

Coronel said the respondents were charged for their alleged involvement in the manipulation of the list of SAP  beneficiaries which benefited even their relatives and unqualified recipients as well as collecting and dividing the cash aid received by the complainants against their will for purposes of "sharing it" with other families.