More officials face graft charges for alleged cash aid distribution anomalies

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — More barangay officials were slapped with criminal complaints for alleged anomalies in their distribution of cash aid for poor families affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Interior Department on Monday said the Philippine National Police has filed 12 criminal complaints against 23 erring barangay officials. Four more cases will be filed in the next days.

Most of the alleged anomalies in the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program were committed by punong barangays, barangay kagawads, barangay treasurers, barangay secretaries, barangay employees, purok leaders, and even social workers.

DILG said that the anomalies committed by the barangay officials range from splitting the amount, falsification of the masterlist, getting a “cut” or “tara” from the SAP beneficiaries, among others.

Cases for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act were filed by the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group against these barangay officials.

Meanwhile, police are conducting investigation on another 110 barangay officials after 318 complainants nationwide reported graft and corrupt practices against them.

"Puspusan na rin ang imbestigasyon at case build-up para masigurong makakalaboso ang mga walang-hiyang tao na ito na nakuha pang manggantso sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan," Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

[Translation: We are fasttracking our investigations and case build-up to make sure we file charges against those who take away aid from the poor.]