BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The respondents in the alleged anomaly in the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) grants in Region 6 rose to 215, as of August 21, a report of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Regional Field Office 6 said yesterday.
The CIDG RFU 6 report, a copy of which was given to the DAILY STAR, showed that 89 of the 215 respondents who are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, are barangay officials and workers in Bacolod City.
Twenty nine other respondents are barangay officials and workers in Negros Occidental, the report added.
The filing of charges against the respondents, as facilitated by the different CIDG units in Western Visayas, stemmed from the complaints of 168 complainants.
Common complaints against the respondents were for including those not qualified to avail of the SAP aid, for prioritizing their family members who have regular income, retired government workers, and even those who have already availed of other government financial assistance such as 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government reported that 437 local elected and appointed public officials and their civilian co-conspirators are now facing criminal charges while 626 more are under probe by the PNP-CIDG for alleged anomalies in the pay-outs of the SAP.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, in a statement, lauded the efforts of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) for vigorously investigating 336 SAP related-cases across the country.
Of the 336 cases, 240 have already been filed with the Prosecutors Office, three are for case filing, six were endorsed to other agencies, 46 are under investigation, or case build-up, and 41 were dismissed for lack of probable cause or insufficient evidence.
The CIDG RFU 6 led by Lt. Col. Gervacio Balmaceda Jr. filed 41 cases in Western Visayas.
Año acknowledged that a huge part of their success in going after these public officials are the public who bravely filed complaints with the nearest PNP stations.
At the same time, Año said that he is confident that there will be lesser complaints over anomalies now that the second tranche of the SAP is distributed mostly through electronic means.*