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EDITORIAL - Donât stop going after erring barangay officials

EDITORIAL - Don’t stop going after erring barangay officials

(The Freeman) - May 20, 2020 - 12:00am

At least 23 barangay officials all over the country are now facing criminal charges for alleged anomalies in the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program. Another 110 officials are expected to face similar charges soon.

The officials ranged from barangay captains, barangay councilmen, barangay treasurers, barangay secretaries, barangay employees, sitio leaders, and even social workers.

As to the alleged anomalies, they ranged from excluding some beneficiaries from getting aid, including people who shouldn’t be getting aid, and withholding the amount to be given.

Those found guilty must receive the fullest measure of the law, and effort must be made to go after other barangay officials who abuse their positions.

Barangay officials play a major role in making the country work.  They might not be paid as much as high officials, but when you think about it they are just as indispensable, perhaps even more.

While it is the president who runs the country and the senators and congressmen who make the laws, in the end it is the humble barangay official who makes sure those laws are being followed.

When something is needed, the common people turn to their barangay officials. They don’t immediately run to the mayor, governor, or congressman. More so in these times when restrictions are in place because of the pandemic.

It is also not unlike what a DILG official said, some barangay officials are essentially doing executive, legislative, and even judicial functions in their barangays. So in many cases the barangay officials represent the entire government to their constituents.

We have mentioned it before and we should say it again; if we don’t remove officials who ought to be removed now, chances are these officials will still be in charge when the next calamity hits. And then we will run into the same problems as before.

It doesn’t matter how good the high government officials are, or how sound the plans and programs they make, or applicable the laws they legislate. If these are being implemented by barangay officials who don’t think twice about their own gain to the detriment of their constituents, then the people will still be on the short end.

BARANGAY OFFICIALS
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