BACOLOD CITY - Eleven barangay officials, including a village chairman in Bacolod City are facing charges of graft and corruption in connection with allegations they were involved in anomalous distribution of cash aid under the government's social amelioration program (SAP).
Police MSgt. Ramiro Gocotano of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Bacolod on Monday identified the accused as Barangay Mandalagan chieftain Arturo Parreño, Aaron Abao, Michael Medel, Mary Joy Galleto, Luz Villaflor, Elizabeth Garzon, Christine Beatingo, Mary Nel Guardiano, Stephen Ryan Rimpus and Joel Nicavera.
Police said that on April 23 and 27, the local officials allegedly connived with close friends and relatives to illegally avail of the P6,000 financial assistance given by the government for families adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gocotono said 5 residents lodged a complaint before the CIDG alleging that the the barangay officials and staff were biased in selecting SAP beneficiaries.
“The main complaint is that the respondents formed a Barangay Selection Process Team. The 3 council members allegedly manipulated and instructed the barangay staff including the SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) president and volunteers what to do. Actually, SK volunteers are prohibited from distributing SAP forms," Gocotono said in vernacular.
"The selection of those who will receive the financial assistance was biased.”
The suspects also allegedly violated the government mobilization assistance in the provision of basic necessities to families and individuals affected by the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown, especially the indigents and their families.
Among the charges they face are connected with Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act; and RA 6713, which establishes public officials' code of conduct and ethical standards, police said