Cebu City barangay chiefs deny involvement in SAP anomalies
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Some of the barangay chiefs in Cebu City who are now facing charges for alleged irregularities in the distribution of Special Amelioration Program (SAP) aid of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) denied the allegations against them.
There are three barangay chiefs in Cebu City who were among those charged by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7). These are the barangay captains in Barangays Basak San Nicolas, Zapatera, and San Jose.
Zapatera Barangay Captain Franklyn Benedicto told CDN Digital in a phone interview that he will face the charges because he knows he is innocent of these allegations.
He said he was never involved in the distribution of the SAP as the Mayor’s Information and Liasion Office (MILO) and some barangays councilors were the ones who helped the DSWD identify the beneficiaries. They also had the list of the SAP beneficiaries.
“Wala man sa akoa ang SAP distribution. Wala man ko nainvolved anang mga pagpanghatag. Kung naa man ganiy mga sipyat, balik ra na sa ilaha kay sila may naglista, nag-interview, naghatag,” said Benedicto.
(I was not involved in the SAP distribution. I was not involved in the distribution to the residents. If there was something wrong, it will go back to them because they made the list, conducted the interviews, and conducted the distribution.)
He said the intervention of the MILO prompted them to give way and let the city’s liaison officers conduct the distribution of the SAP aid.
Similarly, Basak San Nicolas Captain Norman Navarro said there were no reports of irregularities in the SAP distribution in his village except with one incident involving an individual who had a similar name with him.
Navarro said that a resident in his barangay had the same first name and last name as his, but they had different middle names. They were also not related by consanguinity.
“Nianhi naman to ang CIDG sauna kay giklaro nila tong pareha og ngalan nako. So ako gyod gipaatubang sa ilaha. Abi nako nga nahusay nato,” said Navarro.
(The CIDG already came here to clarify the beneficiary who had the same name as me. So I called the resident to face them. I thought it was already cleared.)
Navarro said he is not worried about the charges because he can prove that he is innocent. He said that while he was on hot seat due that lone incident, he was not actually much involved in the distribution as it was delegated mostly to the barangay councilors.
CDN Digital tried to reach San Jose Barangay Captain Joventino Ardaba but to no avail.
The CIDG-7 told reporters on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, that they already filed in court 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 Act over the three barangay chiefs. /bmjo
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