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Police to investigate local officials who may have pocketed SAP funds

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Police to investigate local officials who may have pocketed SAP funds
Some of the 3818 beneficiaries of Social Amelioration Program in Brgy. Pasong Tamo in Quezon City lined up early morning of May 4, 2020.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday ordered the Philippine National Police to look into supposed anomalies in the distribution of financial aid to Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he is "directing PNP units all over the country and also requesting the National Bureu of Investigation to prioritize the investigation of graft and corruption cases against local officials on SAP distribution."

The PNP is under the DILG while the NBI is under the Department of Justice.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said late Monday night that President Rodrigo Duterte offered a cash reward of P30,000 to those who will report local officials who pocket government aid meant for the poor.

It is unclear where the funds for the reward will be sourced.

Roque added in Filipino: “This is in line with our president’s zero tolerance against corruption, especially to those who take and corrupt assistance for the poor.”

Duterte, in his public address, mentioned Hagonoy, Bulacan barangay kagawad Danilo Flores who was arrested after he was caught on video telling SAP recipients that they would only receive P3,000 while the remaining P3,500 would be given to the town mayor, for distribution to non-SAP beneficiaries.

DILG said Hagonoy Mayor Raulito Manlapaz denied this.

Año also “warned that similar incidents will not be tolerated and sanctions will be given to corrupt local officials.”

He also ordered the department’s regional directors to form their own provincial investigating teams to look into administrative complaints that may be filed against local officials.

The teams are required to file regular reports to the DILG central office on actions they have taken. — Kristine Joy Patag

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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