Bohol Island News Staff | Posted on Sept. 12, 2020 at 12:56 p.m.
Three barangay captains (village chiefs) in Bohol province will face preventive suspension following their involvement in the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) anomalies during its first tranche payout.
According to a press release from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), they identified Rodolfo Simbajon of Barangay Guio-ang, Guindulman; Mario A. Lamanilao of Barangay Calituban, Talibon; and Eugene Zamora of Barangay Taloto, Tagbilaran City, Bohol who will be served with suspension orders.
They will be placed on six-month preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) following the filing of complaints by the DILG.
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 (PBs) 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 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.
He thanked Ombudsman Samuel Martires for immediately acting on the complaints filed by the Department against the erring PBs since this will serve as a stern warning to all local government units that any wrong-doing on their part will not be tolerated by the Department.
“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,” he added.
Apart from the said three barangay captains in Bohol, there were also six others facing suspension.
They are Patricio G. Soco of Barangay Alang-Alang, Mandaue City, Cebu; Ulysses Raganas of Barangay Linao, Talisay City, Cebu; Zosima P. 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; and Mercedita S. Uy of Barangay Cancawas, San Jose, Negros Oriental.
According to the DILG Chief, Region I, National Capital Region, and Region II tops the list of suspended village chiefs while Cordillera Administrative Region and Caraga has the least number of suspended PBs. Only Region XII has no suspended PBs among all regions.
Meanwhile, 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.
Of the 447 suspects, 211 are elected local and barangay officials, 104 are appointed barangay officials and 132 are their 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.