The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the preventive suspension of 89 barangay chiefs nationwide for alleged anomalies in the implementation of the emergency subsidy program in their areas, the The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Saturday, September 12.
The DILG said that the Ombudsman – acting on the department’s complaints – has placed the barangay chairpersons under 6-month preventive suspension.
The DILG said in a statement that the most number of suspended barangay chiefs are in the Ilocos Region, National Capital Region, and Cagayan Valley.
The least number of suspended barangay chiefs are in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Caraga Region. Soccsksargen is the only region without any suspended village chief.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed the respective mayors of the village chiefs to immediately implement the suspension order as soon as they receive the documents. He also directed DILG regional and field officers to ensure the orderly implementation of the suspension order.
“Nawa’y 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.
(May this suspension serve as a warning to other local officials. Corruption has no space in our government, especially during this time of pandemic.)
The government’s emergency subsidy program was created under the now-expired Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. It promised assistance of P5,000 to P8,000 ($102 to $164) to millions of poor families affected by the pandemic, especially those in the poorest communities.
The distribution of the cash assistance has been marred by discrepancies and allegations of anomalies.
The DILG said that according to Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, the suspension of the village chiefs is the “first such mass suspension in the history of the country.”
‘Guilt is strong’
The DILG cited an Ombudsman order dated September 2, 2020, stating 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 said that the continued stay of the barangays chiefs 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.”
The following barangay chiefs were placed on preventive suspension pending investigation. The regions are arranged from most to least number of suspended barangay chairpersons.
- Jason Dominguez of Barangay Nagsayaoan, Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur
- Marino Cabados Cirilo Sr of Barangay Cadacad, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur
- Antonio delos Santos of Barangay Laslasong West, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur
- Elmer Castillo Abenojar of Barangay Guesset, Naguilian, La Union;
- Samuel Fernandez of Barangay Gusing Sur, Naguilian, La Union
- Ariel Cayabyab Hiquiana of Barangay San Vicente, San Jacinto, Pangasinan
- Walter Velasco y Bruan of Barangay Cablong, Sta Barbara, Pangasinan
- Angel Oria Sombrito of Barangay Calanutan, Rosales, Pangasinan
- Lawrence Gilbert Delos Angeles of Barangay Balogo, Binmaley, Pangasinan
- Froilando Fernandez of Barangay Gayaman, Binmaley, Pangasinan
- Rogelio Fernandez of Barangay Caloocan Norte, Binmaley, Pangasinan
- Rogelio Fernandez of Barangay Caloocan Norte, Binmaley, Pangasinan
National Capital Region
- Rogelio Atangan Jr of Barangay 9, Zone 2, Pasay City
- Olivia Suarez Barangay 181, Zone 19, Maricaban, Pasay City
- Leonardo “DJ” Recto of Barangay 11, Zone 2, District 1, Tondo, Manila
- Mario Banal of Barangay 123, Zone 9, District 1, Tondo, Manila
- Romeo Garcia of Barangay 449, Zone 49, District 4, Sampaloc, Manila
- Jonas Bartolome Barangay 418, Zone 4, District 4, Sampaloc, Manila
- Anthony Magno of Barangay 283, Zone 26, District 3, Binondo, Manila
- Nenita Valdez of Barangay Mariblo, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City
- Ana Liza Rosero of Barangay Teacher’s Village West, Quezon City
- Ritchie Poblacion of Barangay Quirino 2-B, Project 2, Quezon City
- Remedios Reyes of Barangay Sta Cruz, Pasig City.
- Arnel Quesada of Barangay Yeban Sur, Benito Soliven, Isabela
- BuenvinidoRuiz of Barangay Callangigan, Quezon, Isabela
- Domingo Tagufa of Barangay Balug, Tumauini, Isabela
- German Vinoya Jr of Barangay Oscariz, Ramon, Isabela
- Sherwin Cadavona of Barangay Calinaoan Malasin, Sto Tomas, Isabela
- Jessie Corpuz of Barangay Baybayog, Alcala, Cagayan
- Marlon Abuyuan of Barangay Tallungan, Aparri, Cagayan
- Leodines Bautista of Barangay Centro 12, Tuguegarao City
- Samson Ebenga of Barangay Abaca, Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizacaya
- Wilson Cansino of Barangay San Geronimo, Bagabag, Nueva Vizacaya
- Omar Guban of Barangay Batang, Irosin, Pasay Sorsogon
- Medel Labayan of Barangay Bayabas, Labao, Camarines Norte
- Allan Nevales of Barangay Bagongbong, Minalabac, Camarines Sur
- Anna Theresa Losiñada of Barangay Lacag, Daraga, Albay
- Camillo Hiloma of Barangay Binisitahan del Sur, Magallanes, Sorsogon
- Eusebio Lorico of Barangay Buang, Tabaco City, Albay
- Gresilda Lumawon of Barangay Mahaba, Ligao City, Albay
- Norma Bañadera of Barangay Manaet, Bacacay, Albay
- Roger Cantes of Barangay Carayrayan, Tiwi, Albay
- Rodolfo Simbajon of Barangay Guio-ang, Guindulman, Bohol
- Mario Lamanilao of Barangay Calituban, Talibon, Bohol
- Eugene Zamora of Barangay Taloto, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
- Patricio Soco of Barangay Alang-Alang, Mandaue City, Cebu
- Ulysses Raganas of Barangay Linao, Talisay City, Cebu
- Zosima Rojo of Barangay Upper, Natimao-an, Carmen, Cebu
- Norman Navarro of Barangay Basak-San Nicolas, Cebu City, Cebu
- Ignacio Cortes II of Barangay Centro, Mandaue City, Cebu
- Mercedita Uy of Barangay Cancawas, San Jose, Negros Oriental
- Tezardo Tejada of Barangay To-oy, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental
- Evelyn Ta-asan of Barangay 11, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
- Noli Villarosa of Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
- Kim Piramo of Barangay 19, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
- Romeo Sultan of Barangay Salamanca Toboso, Negros Occidental
- Ruel Sabequil of Barangay Cabungahan, Calatrava, Negros Occidental
- Tito Dipon Barnuevo of Barangay Linao, Panay, Capiz
- Michael Vapor of Barangay Jordan, Villaba, Leyte
- Esterlina Jacobe of Barangay Nasaug, Maasin City, Southern Leyte
- Jenecita Losaria of Barangay Catalina, Jiabong, Samar
- Efren Truelda of Barangay 13, Catbalogan City, Samar
- Wilfredo Bacarra of Barangay Masagana, Jiabong, Samar
- Nathan “Bembem” Gabronino of Barangay Zone 3, Sogod, Southern Leyte
- Jebanie Rios of Barangay Buenavista, Palompon, Leyte
- Maria Te of Barangay Manuel Roxas, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental
- Josephina Padillo of Barangay Libertad, Bansalan, Davao del Sur
- Aurora Benemerito of Barangay Bangkal, Matanao, Davao del Sur
- Noel Alo of Barangay Mayo, City of Mati, Davao Oriental
- Apolonio Toledo of Barangay Harada Butal, Padada, Davao del Sur
- Josefino Malicad Jr of Barangay II-C, San Pablo City, Laguna
- Gary Remoquillo of Barangay Landayan, San Pedro City, Laguna
- Rowell Cabuyao dela Torre of Barangay Ilayang Nangka, Tayabas City, Quezon
- Rodelio Endaya of Barangay Baybayin Rosario Batangas
- Aaron Lubina Villareal of Barangay Villa Cervesa, Oriental Mindoro
- Lodilito Bandiola Jr of Barangay Salvacion, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro
- Imee Malabayas Lara of Barangay Tumapon, Boac, Marinduque
- Leonardo Narzoles of Barangay Tabi, Boac, Marinduque
- Mario Racoma of Barangay Santo Niño, San Felipe, Zambales
- Willie Gutierrez of Barangay Nagpandayan, Guimba, Nueva Ecija
- Lavarnie Gopez Pineda of Barangay Bulaon, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
- Camilo Anduyan of Barangay Tibangan, Iligan City
- Jocelyn Janioso of Barangay Mabunga, Baugnon, Bukidnon
- Zosimo Lao Zapico of Barangay Ampinican, Salay, Misamis Oriental.
Cordillera Administrative Region
- Jimmy Cabiao of Barangay Quimloong, Bucay, Abra
- Dennis Felina of Barangay Luzong, Manabo, Abra
- George Frederick Obal of Barangay Apatan, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.
- Wilfredo Membrillos of Barangay Nong Nong, Butuan City
Malaya said that acting on the orders of the DILG, the PNP-CIDG had earlier already filed criminal cases against 447 individuals for alleged violation of RA No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA 11469 or the Bayanihan Act I, and RA No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct of Government Officials and Employees, among others, again in relation to the implementation of the emergency cash subsidy program.
The DILG said that of the 447 suspects, 211 are elected local and barangay officials, 104 are appointed barangay officials, and 132 are their alleged civilian co-conspirators.
“The cases are now being handled by the different City and Provincial Prosecutors across the country who have started the filing of the necessary information against the suspects in the courts,” the DILG said.
The Philippines has 42,046 barangays. – Rappler.com