The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Sunday, August 23, that at least 437 workers are facing charges for the alleged corruption in the government’s emergency cash aid for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año released a statement saying that criminal charges were issued against 203 elected public officials, 102 barangay and city personnel, and 132 civilian “co-conspirators.”
“Sobrang nakakadismaya na nagawa pa nilang mangurakot sa ayudang nakalaan para sa sa ating mga kababayan na lubhang apektado ng pandemya,” Año said.
Many of the cases filed are violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, RA No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and RA No. 11332 or the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases, among others.
According to the DILG, the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted an investigation on 336 cases, with 240 already issued before prosecutors.
Furthermore, the PNP is investigating 626 more officials.
The government’s cash assistance program was created under the lapsed Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. It promised to provide assistance worth P5,000 to P8,000 to millions of poor families in the country.
The program aimed to help families affected by the lockdowns due to COVID-19 outbreak. However, the distribution of subsidy was swarmed with accusations of corruption.