Three Bohol barangay captains were named by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday as among the village officials slapped with a preventive suspension over suspected anomalies in the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
Duterte, in one of his late-night addresses to the nation, mentioned names of 89 village chiefs from across the country including Eugene Zamora of Barangay Taloto in Tagbilaran City, Rodolfo Simbajon of Barangay Guio-ang in Guindulman and Mario Lamanilao of Barangay Calituban in Talibon.
According to Duterte, the village chiefs were suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman pending the investigation of their cases which involved irregularities in their implementation of the SAP which led to some listed beneficiaries not getting their share of the government cash aid for poor families affected by quarantine measures imposed to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Sabi ko na nga eh kaya ako nag-warning noon. Ito, preventively suspended kayo. Iyan, in the meantime na naghi-hearing ‘yung kaso, suspended kayo. But eventually, ito puro lahat malversation ito of public funds which is very serious,” the president said.
Meanwhile, lawyer Popot Marapao who represents Zamora, said that case against his client in relation to the SAP distribution has been dismissed by the Tagbilaran City Prosecutor’s Office.
Simbajon also told the Chronicle that both criminal and administrative charges against him for violating several provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act have been dropped.
“Ang graft ug administrative, criminal cases wala na. Wala man intawon ko kahawid ug sapi sa SAP, bisan piso,” Simbajon said.
It is not the first time for Duterte to publicly name a Bohol official for corrupt practices.
Duterte earlier this month mentioned Christine Ipanag of the Department of Education, who he claimed to be from Tagbilaran City, as among those dismissed from government service due to corruption.
Desiderio Deligero, chief of DepEd’s School Governance and Operations Division in Bohol, however said that there had been no such person who worked under the department’s offices in the province.
Ipanag was traced to have been formerly employed in Talisay City, Cebu before she was dismissed while it was noted by the DepEd official that she is also not living in Bohol.
Deligero said that she may have relatives in Tagbilaran City.
As part of his supposed anti-corruption drive, Duterte has been on a public shaming spree of government officials allegedly involved in various anomalies.
Last month, he bared the names of lawmakers included in the list of corrupt officials prepared by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC). (R. Tutas)