NBI charges 3 barangay officials with graft and corruption over SAP anomaly

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed graft and corruption charges against three barangay officials in Hagonoy, Bulacan, over alleged anomalies in distributing government’s social amelioration program (SAP) funds. 

NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor on Thursday identified the suspects before the Department of Justice on May 11 as Chairman Jason Mendoza, Kagawad Danilo Flores, and Executive Assistant Richard Bautista. They are all from Barangay San Agustin.

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According to Distor, a former barangay kagawad named Levi Cosay and Regine Bautista (wife of the barangay’s executive assistant) would also face charges for their alleged involvement in the SAP anomaly. 

It could be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte called out Flores in his May 4 speech due to the alleged irregularities in the distribution of financial aid.

Distor said that three complainants claimed that SAP beneficiaries in the said barangay received P6,500 each on April 27 at San Agustin Elementary School.

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However, in the afternoon of the same date, Flores, together with a certain Michael Perez, demanded from the beneficiaries P4,000 from the SAP cash subsidy they have received.

Flores allegedly told the complainant that he would give the P3,500 to Hagonoy Municipal Mayor Raulito Manlapaz Sr. while the remaining P500 will be distributed to the frontliners of Hagonoy. 

The investigation also revealed Flores threatened the complainants that they will be blacklisted and will no longer receive any cash and relief aid from the government if they would refuse to give the P4,000. 

“Against their will, complainants gave back to subject Flores the amount of P4,000,” Distor said in an NBI report.

The NBI official added that a total of P117,000 collected by Flores was turned over to Bautista and his wife.

“Witnesses further averred that it is common knowledge in their barangay that being the executive assistants, which position requires the barangay chairman’s trust and confidence, subject Bautista has indeed gained the confidence of Chairman Mendoza, thus they believe that subject Bautista could not have acted on his own without the imprimatur of his boss, incumbent chairman Mendoza,” added Distor.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced he would give a P30,000 reward to anyone who could provide verified information on local officials stealing cash aid for social amelioration program beneficiaries.

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