Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

COTABATO CITY – Some two agencies of the government have started investigating alleged anomalies involving elected local officials and civil servants in the distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP) cash aid in the Bangsamoro region.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MILG-BARMM), said BARMM has sought the help of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine whether the complaints that some local village officials in cahoots with social workers have been “cutting” the SAP aid intended for the poor affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

Sinarimbo, speaking for BARMM, told reporters the regional leadership wanted the issue settled with the help of the NBI and other investigating bodies of the government.

“This matter should be investigated and cleared before everybody,” he said on Saturday.

Complaints have been mounting and involved mostly barangay officials who demanded cuts from the PHP5,000 amelioration fund given to indigents across the region.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier warned village officials against taking advantage of the huge funds supposedly intended for the poor families most affected by the lockdown due to measures preventing the spread of Covid-19.

He offered a PHP30,000 reward for anyone who can provide proof that corrupt officials “dipped” their fingers in the SAP distribution.

Meanwhile, the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-BARMM) also started accepting complaints of anomalies in the SAP distribution.

Col. James Gulmatico, CIDG-BARMM chief, said those who have complaints may send the information to their office through text hotline” number 0998-598-8027.

Gulmatico assured all information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. (IA/PNA)

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