Ombudsman asked to suspend 50 village chiefs over anomalous cash aid distribution

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2020 02:14 PM

MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government said Monday it has asked for the preventive suspension of 50 village chiefs facing complaints due to corruption-related anomalies in the distribution of COVID-19 cash aid.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has so far readied 155 criminal complaints against local officials, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.

The agency has also filed criminal and administrative cases before the Ombudsman against the officials, he added.

“Nai-submit na po namin itong mga kaso na ‘to, at within the week po ay inaasahan namin na initially ay 50 barangay captain ang magkakaroon ng preventive suspension habang iniimbestiga po ng Ombudsman ang administrative aspect ng kanilang mga kaso,” Año said in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night.

(We have submitted these cases and within the week we expect some 50 village chief to be placed under preventive suspension while the Ombudsman is investigating the administrative aspect of their cases.)

These officials come from Metro Manila, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Calabarzon, Año said.

Duterte earlier warned corrupt local government officials would be suspended or dismissed immediately.

He ordered the social welfare department to tap the military and police to help in the distribution of cash aid following apprehensions that public funds might be misused by local chiefs.