The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced Wednesday that 301 barangay officials are facing criminal charges for anomalies in distributing the first tranche of cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP).

DILG Underscretary Jonathan E. Malaya said in a statement that the 301 total is accurate as of June 2, while 76 others remain under case buildup.

A PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group report revealed that of the total, 57 were punong barangays, 57 were barangay kagawads while 125 were civilian co-conspirators. Barangay secretaries, health workers, treasurers, Sangguniang Kabataan chairs and local government officials and employes were also charged.

The 301 were charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, RA 11469 known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and RA 11332 or Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases, DILG said.

“Secretary Año has personally directed the PNP to ensure that cases are filed para maparusahan ang mga ito sapagkat talaga namang nakakagalit na sa panahon ng krisis kung kailan kailangang-kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ng tulong ay nagagawa pa nilang manloko ng mga kabarangay nila,” Malaya’s statement read.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the distribution of the second tranche of SAP would be done electronically to reduce the possibility of corruption as there will be no more intervention by local government units.

President Rodrigo Duterte is offering a P30,000 reward for citizens who will report local government officials who have mishandled cash aid distribution. (John Ezekiel J. Hirro)