The Department of the Interior and Local Government ( DILG) filed criminal complaints against 49 barangay officials before the Ombudsman’s Office for suspected corruption in the allocation of financial assistance to citizens under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and infringements of health protocols during the quarantine period COVID-19.
According to Interior Undersecretary Martin Dino, they filed a complaint in the office of the ombudsman. The complaint includes not only the social amelioration program but also due to protocol regarding the social distancing. Diño also chided barangay officials who violate safety protocols when implementing group quarantine legislation
The grievances of the barangay officials voiced on social media only showed the tip of the local governance challenges under lockdown, where local officials are overwhelmed by the social relief crisis and the spread of the disease while remaining frustrated and unsure in the policy directives of the Duterte Government
According to Diño, among barangay officials’ violations were the lack of physical distancing in encounters with barangay residents, participation in illegal cockfighting, gambling, lax implementation of lockdown protocols as children were seen playing on the streets, as well as negligence and gross neglect of duty, among others
Officials Barangay should be the first to follow the rules. Not to be disobedient. And if you’re a captain of the Barangay, you may be arrested. They should be given more stringent punishments for violating the laws they are supposed to follow. Dino added.
Previously announced by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported that 50 barangay officials had been put under preventive suspension for suspected irregularities in the distribution of government cash assistance to low-income families bearing the brunt of the COVID 19 crisis.
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