5 Cebu barangay execs, 4 others face preventive suspension over SAP anomalies
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Nine barangay chiefs in Central Visayas, including five from Cebu, are facing preventive suspension for six months over alleged anomalies surrounding the first tranche of the Special Ammeloriation Program (SAP) fund distribution.
They are part of the 89 barangays officials coming from all over the country who were ordered preventively suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman following the filing of complaints against them by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Central Visayas barangay officials who are included in the DILG list are:
1. Rodolfo Simbajon, Barangay Guio-ang, Guindulman, Bohol
2. Mario A. Lamanilao, Barangay Calituban, Talibon, Bohol
3. Eugene Zamora, Barangay Taloto, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
4. Patricio G. Soco, Barangay Alang-alang, Mandaue City, Cebu
5. Ulysses Raganas, Barangay Linao, Talisay City, Cebu
6. Zosima P. Rojo, Barangay Upper, Natimao-an, Carmen, Cebu
7. Norman Navarro, Barangay Basak-San Nicolas, Cebu City, Cebu
8. Ignacio Cortes II, Barangay Centro, Mandaue City, Cebu
9. Mercedita S. Uy, Barangay Cancawas, San Jose, Negros Oriental
An advisory that was posted on the official Facebook page of DILG Philippines this Saturday, Sept. 12, said that Secretary Eduardo Año has directed the municipal or city mayors of the concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) to immediately implement the suspension upon receipt of a copy of the Ombudsman order.
Año also directed his regional directors and field officers to ensure the orderly implementation of the suspension orders.
The Office of the Ombudsman, in an order dated September 2, 2020, said that “the evidence on record shows that the guilt of these punong barangays is strong and the charges against them involve Serious Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, Abuse of Authority and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service which may warrant removal from the service.”
The Ombudsman maintained that the continued stay off these barangay chiefs in office may prejudice the case filed against them, “[so] placing them under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months pursuant to Republic Act No. 6770 is proper under the premises.”
In the same advisory, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya was quoted saying that the suspension of the 89 Punong Barangays is the “first mass suspension” of elected officials in the history of the country.
Acting on the orders of the DILG, the PNP-CIDG earlier filed criminal complaints against 447 individuals for violations of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), RA 11469 (Bayanihan Act I), and RA 6713 (Code of Conduct of Government Officials and Employees), among others, in relation to the SAP fund distribution.
Under the SAP, beneficiaries received cash subsidies of P5,000 to P8,000 based on the prevailing minimum wage rates in their respective regions.
Of the 447, a total of 211 are elected local officials while 104 are appointed barangay officials. The 132 others are their civilian co-conspirators.
Their cases are now being handled by the different City and Provincial Prosecutors across the country who have started the filing of the necessary information against the suspects in the courts. / dcb
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