DILG: 9 village chiefs in Bicol suspended over SAP Tranche 1 anomalies

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Nine village chiefs in Bicol are among the 89  across the country who have been placed on six-month preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) following the filing of complaints by the Department of the Interior and Local Government against the said barangay officials for anomalies and irregularities involving the implementation of the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Included in the list are:

1. Omar G Guban of Barangay Batang, Irosin, Sorsogon;
2. Medel G Labayan of Barangay Bayabas, Labo, Camarines Norte;
3. Allan Nevales of Barangay Bagongbong, Minalabac, Camarines Sur;
4. Anna N. Theresa Losiñada of Barangay Lacag, Daraga, Albay;
5. Camillo H Hiloma of Barangay Binisitahan Del Sur, Magallanes, Sorsogon;
6. Eusebio B Lorico of Brgy. Buang, Tabaco City, Albay;
7. Gresilda R Lumawon of Barangay Mahaba, Ligao City, Albay;
8. Norma B Bañadera of Barangay Manaet, Bacacay, Albay;
9. Roger Cantes of Barangay Carayrayan, Tiwi, Albay

The Department of Interior and Local Government, in its news release, said that Secretary Eduardo M. Año directed the respective Municipal/City Mayors of these Punong Barangays to immediately implement the order of the Office of the Ombudsman upon receipt while the DILG Regional and field officers were directed to ensure the orderly implementation of the said mass suspension.

“Naway magsilbing babala ang suspensiyon na ito sa iba pang mga lokal na opisyales. Ang katiwalian ay walang puwang sa ating pamahalaan lalong-lalo pa ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” Año said.

In an Order dated September 2, 2020, the Office of the Ombudsman said that “the evidence on record shows that the guilt of these punong barangays is strong and the charges against them involve Serious Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, Abuse of Authority and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service which may warrant removal from the service.”

The Ombudsman maintained that the continued stay off these punong barangays in office may prejudice the case filed against them, “[so] placing them under preventive suspension for a period of six (6) months pursuant to Republic Act No. 6770 is proper under the premises.”

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the suspension of the 89 Punong Barangays, the first such mass suspension in the history of the country, is just the latest in a series of moves undertaken by the DILG to weed out corrupt officials in the implementation of the SAP.

He said that acting on the orders of the DILG, the PNP-CIDG has already filed criminal cases against 447 individuals for violations of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), RA 11469 (Bayanihan Act I), and RA 6713 (Code of Conduct of Government Officials and Employees), among others, again in relation to the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program.