Greedy officials have no place in government, carriers of malignant virus: DILG chief

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately investigate reported anomalies in relation to SAP distribution like splitting or not giving the correct amount.

This is after the arrest and detention of a barangay kagawad who allegedly pocketed more than half of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash aid intended for poor families in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

“I am directing PNP units all over the country and also requesting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to prioritize the investigation of graft and corruption cases against local officials on SAP distribution. Greedy and corrupt officials should have no place in the government. They are carriers of a malignant virus that destroys the trust the people gave to them,” Secretary Año said as he expressed dismay over the reported incident in Hagonoy caught on video.

He said the alleged illegal acts of Barangay Kagawad Danilo Flores, 66, of Barangay San Agustin in Hagonoy, Bulacan is “disgraceful and downright shameful” as public officials should be the ones helping poor families especially during the present Covid-19 crisis.

“Nakakahiya! Ang SAP ay kinuha mula sa kaban ng bayan bilang ayuda sa mga salat sa buhay at walang kabuhayan sa gitna ng Covid-19 crisis. Hindi ito dapat ibulsa ng sinumang opisyal ng lokal na gobyerno,” he added.

DILG said Flores was caught on video telling SAP financial aid recipients that they would only get P3,000 of the cash aid and that the remaining P3,500 would be given to the town mayor for distribution to non-SAP beneficiaries. However, Hagonoy Mayor Raulito Manlapaz denied Flores’ claims and denied any involvement.

“Hindi talaga masikmura ng taumbayan ang pambubulsa ng SAP. Ang daming umaasa at naghihintay nito tapos pagkatanggap pa ay may kaltas na. It is an injustice to the beneficiaries and an unjust enrichment of corrupt officials,” he said.

DILG said that while the PNP and NBI are directed to investigate the criminal aspect, Año also directed the Department’s Regional Directors to form their respective DILG Provincial Investigating Teams to look into and pursue administrative cases against these corrupt local officials that may lead to their suspension and dismissal from public office

“Mas nakabantay ngayon ang taumbayan sa pamamahala ng local na gobyerno. Turn this challenge to an opportunity for you to show your compassion and the reason you ran for public office in the first place. Kusa namang makikita at masasabi ng mga tao kung kayo’y matino, mahusay at tunay na maaasahan,” he said.