Reacting to numerous complaints on the distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to probe and arrest local officials involved over alleged anomalies in the distribution of the relief fund.

“Greedy and corrupt officials should have no place in the government,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año in a statement said.

“They are carriers of a malignant virus that destroys the trust the people gave to them,” he added.

DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño said the department has received more than 2,000 complaints against some local officials, including barangay captains giving priority to their relatives and political allies in the SAP distribution.

One incident in Hagonoy, Bulacan involved Barangay San Agustin kagawad Danilo Flores who was accused of pocketing up to P3,500 from the P6,500 cash SAP from each beneficiary in his barangay.

During his late Monday televised address, President Rodrigo Duterte harshly criticized Flores and offered a P30,000 reward for persons who could pinpoint local officials pocketing the SAP funds.

Meanwhile, DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also pointed out that the agency’s provincial arms are simultaneously looking into dishonesty reports in their areas.

He said that the provincial teams are directed to regularly submit to the agency’s Central Office the actions taken against local officials found to be involved in irregularities.

“Sa mga magrereklamo po, ang the best evidence ay of course video but an affidavit will do or any documentary evidence na puwedeng ipakita (To those who will file a complain, the best evidence is of course a video but an affidavit will do or any documentary evidence that you can show,” Malaya stressed. (Jojo Mangahis)