Government officials have warned officials of Barangay Teachers Village West, a gated subdivision in Quezon City, for deliberately allowing their immediate kin to receive the first P8,000 tranche from the DSWD’s SAP.
City legal officer Niño Casimiro warned Teachers Village West punong barangay Ana Liza Rosero and her four village councilors—Leah Barug, Eva Laforga, Juliet Baloro and Ma. Ximena Ednacot — that they could face criminal and administrative culpability for violation of the guidelines provided for under the amelioration program.
“Sa batas, pag nagkamali ka hindi ibig sabihin na pag umamin ka, wala ng parusa. Pag napatunayan, hindi magdadalawang salita ang aming Mayor (Joy Belmonte) na parusahan ang dapat parusahan,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, under the Bayanihan to Heal as One law, ordered the release of P200 billion in SAP for the distribution of emergency subsidies to indigent families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Barug earlier told the ABS-CBN interview that her husband, Nilo Barug, was able to receive the P8,000 SAP cash aid.
“We were stubborn enough. Sorry, if my husband signed (the special amelioration card) on the basis that we considered ourselves low income (earners).”
The other relatives of Barug who got the SAP cas were Leticia Corpuz, mother; Merly Corpuz; Heidebel Corpuz; Leonardo Corpuz; Jayson Miguel; Rolando Miguel; Rosie Miguel; Jenny Pom; Lolita Pom; Nancy Barug; Wilma Corpuz; Eufemia Galingana; Febe Galingana; Joy Galingana; Raquel Galingana, and Teresita Galingana.
The husband of Laforga—Henry, a village gatekeeper—also received the P8,000 said.
According to Laforga, Henry lost his job since the start of the enhanced community quarantine.
“I know I have committed some mistake. But I just told myself to let it be that way since I will just explain. Perhaps, we can be forgiven for what we have done which we really do not want to happen. We really erred and ignored the guidelines but we regret doing that. That is why we are asking for patients for the wrong we have done as in,” she said.
The other relatives of Laforga who got the P8,000 cash assistance from the DSWD were Mirasol Laforga, daughter; Anthony Cruz; Melody Cruz; Winston Cruz, and Elsa Cruz.
Baloro said her husband—Ricardo—was earlier disqualified because he was a (registered) person with disability (PWD) and an owner of a variety store, but was still able to get the aid.
Her son Rhene Baloro and daughter Regina Baloro also received the cash assistance since they were living away from their mother, Baloro said.
Ednacot’s mother Loida Ednacot received the P8,000 financial aid despite being a Lupon member.
Earlier, the village councilor claimed in her SAP form application that her mother was jobless.
“I have the certification from the barangay captain. We are not living under the same house. My mother is a lupon, appointed. She is qualified,” she said.
But the city government said Ednacot’s mother was still considered a barangay worker.
Three weeks after getting the SAP aid, Barug and Laforga said their husbands returned the money to Quezon City treasurer Edgar Villanueva.
Despite her personal knowledge, Rosero said she still approved the SAP applications of the relatives of her four councilors.
“May be next time, I will not do it anymore,” she said.
Barangay Teachers Village West is a gated subdivision with only 12 informal settler families that belonged to the poorest of the poor living within the compound.
One alias Monet, a SAP coordinator, came forward to expose the irregularity
“I could not take it anymore,” she said.
Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño of the Department of Interior and Local Government said “kahit isauli mo, consummated na (ang krimen). Kasalanan ng isa, kasalanan ng buong barangay.”
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption president Arsenio Evangelista said they are preparing the charges against the village officials.
“Ito ay heinous crime dahil ito ay pag-atake sa kaban ng bayan, lalo na at itong pondo na ito ay para talaga sa mas nangangailangan,” he said.
DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said the barangay councilors committed conflict of interest.
“Any material misrepresentation (in the SAP form) is a violation of guidelines of the DSWD. Mahaharap sila sa falsification (of public documents) if mapatunayan,” he said.