134 barangay officials charged for cash aid anomalies – DILG

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) – The number of barangay officials sued for cash aid anomalies has reached 134, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Monday.

The agency said it has filed more criminal complaints before the Prosecutor's Office of the Department of Justice, a marked rise from 42 local government executives facing charges as of last week.

The DILG earlier said that local officials are mostly being charged for splitting the cash aid, which ranges from ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 per household, in order to benefit more families. Others would pocket a portion of the aid, while some would have an arbitrary procedure in choosing which families are entitled to the subsidy.

Nine more charges are being prepared for filing this week, while case build-up against 86 more barangay officials are underway, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.

Hindi ninyo matatakasan ang mga panlolokong ginawa ninyo sa pamimigay ng ayuda. Sinira ninyo ang tiwala ng gobyerno at ng inyong mga kabarangay kaya sa kalaunan, sa kulungan ang bagsak ninyo,” Año said in a statement.

[Translation: You will not elude justice for duping the public in the distribution of cash aid. You ruined the trust of the government as well as of your constituents. You will end up in jail.]

Another scheme exposed involving the latest batch of officials involves the supposed illegal collection of a ₱50 processing fee per beneficiary in a barangay in Boac, Marinduque. The amount went as high as ₱1,000 from a complainant in Binmaley, Pangasinan and even ₱2,000 each from 132 low-income families in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.

Authorities earlier said these officials will face charges for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.