MANILA – The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has suspended 89 punong barangays (village chiefs) across the country for six months over anomalies involving the implementation of the first tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP).
In a press release issued on Saturday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año directed the respective municipal/city mayors of these barangay captains to immediately implement the OMB’s order upon receipt while the DILG regional and field officers were directed to ensure the orderly implementation of the mass suspension.
Año thanked Ombudsman Samuel Martires for immediately acting on the complaints filed by the DILG against the erring barangay top officials, saying it 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 (I hope this suspension will serve as warning to other local officials. Corruption has no place in our government especially during pandemic),” he said.
In an order dated Sept. 2, 2020, the OMB said “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 in office may prejudice the case filed against them, “[so] placing them under preventive suspension for a period of six months pursuant to Republic Act 6770 is proper under the premises.”
DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said 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 Philippine National Police- Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (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 program.
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.
NCR, Region 1, 2 top list of suspended officials
According to the Año, Region 1, National Capital Region (NCR), and Region 2 tops the list of suspended punong barangays (PBs) while Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Caraga has the least number of suspended officials. Only Region 12 has no suspended village chief among all regions.
Among the 12 suspended village chiefs in Region 1 are Jason C. 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 S. Fernandez of Barangay Gusing Sur, Naguilian, La Union; Ariel Cayabyab Hiquiana of Barangay San Vicente, San Jacinto, Pangasinan; Walter Velasco of Barangay Cablong, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan; Angel Oria Sombrito of Barangay Calanutan, Rosales, Pangasinan; Lawrence Gilbert Delos Angeles of Barangay Balogo, Binmaley, Pangasinan; Froilando V. Fernandez of Barangay Gayaman, Binmaley, Pangasinan; Rogelio Fernandez of Barangay Caloocan Norte, Binmaley, Pangasinan; and Rogelio Fernandez of Barangay Caloocan Norte, Binmaley, Pangasinan.
In the NCR, included in the 11 suspended punong barangays are Rogelio Atangan Jr. of Barangay 9, Zone 2 and Olivia Suarez Barangay 181, Zone 19, Maricaban both in Pasay City; Leonardo “DJ” Recto of Barangay 11, Zone 2, and Mario Banal of Barangay 123, Zone 9, both in District 1, Tondo; Romeo Garcia of Barangay 449, Zone 49, and Jonas Z. Bartolome Barangay 418, Zone 4 both in District 4, Sampaloc; and 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; and Ritchie Poblacion of Barangay Quirino 2-B, Project 2, Quezon City; and Remedios A. Reyes of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Pasig City.
In Region 2, there are 10 suspended village chiefs including Arnel P Quesada of Barangay Yeban Sur, Benito Soliven, Isabela; Buenvinido B. Ruiz of Barangay Callangigan, Quezon, Isabela; Domingo G. Tagufa of Barangay Balug, Tumauini, Isabela; German G. Vinoya Jr. of Barangay Oscariz, Ramon, Isabela; Sherwin S. Cadavona of Barangay Calinaoan Malasin, Sto. Tomas, Isabela; Jessie D. Corpuz of Barangay Baybayog, Alcala, Cagayan; Marlon A. Abuyuan of Barangay Tallungan, Aparri, Cagayan; Leodines L. Bautista of Barangay Centro 12, Tuguegarao City; Samson D. Ebenga of Barangay Abaca, Dupax Del Sur, Nueva Vizacaya; and Wilson Cansino of Barangay San Geronimo, Bagabag, Nueva Vizacaya.
In addition, there are nine suspended punong barangays in Region 5 namely: Omar G. Guban of Barangay Batang, Irosin, Sorsogon; Medel G. Labayan of Barangay Bayabas, Labao, Camarines Norte; Allan Nevales of Barangay Bagongbong, Minalabac, Camarines Sur; Anna N. Theresa Losiñada of Barangay Lacag, Daraga, Albay; Camillo H. Hiloma of Barangay Binisitahan Del Sur, Magallanes, Sorsogon; Eusebio B. Lorico of Brgy. Buang, Tabaco City, Albay; Gresilda R Lumawon of Barangay Mahaba, Ligao City, Albay; Norma B. Bañadera of Barangay Manaet, Bacacay, Albay; and Roger Cantes of Barangay Carayrayan, Tiwi, Albay.
In Region 7, among the nine suspended barangay captains are Rodolfo Simbajon of Barangay Guio-ang, Guindulman, Bohol; Mario A. Lamanilao of Barangay Calituban, Talibon, Bohol; Eugene Zamora of Barangay Taloto, Tagbilaran City, Bohol; 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.
Eight of the suspended punong barangays are from Region 6 including Tezardo M. Tejada of Barangay To-oy, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental; Evelyn C. Ta-asan of Barangay 11, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and Noli Villarosa of Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Kim C. Piramo of Barangay 19, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Kim C. Piramo of Barangay 19, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Romeo Sultan of Barangay Salamanca Toboso, Negros Occidental; Ruel Sabequil of Barangay Cabungahan, Calatrava, Negros Occidental; and Tito Dipon Barnuevo of Barangay Linao, Panay, Capiz.
There are seven suspended PBs in Region 8 including Michael L. Vapor of Brgy. Jordan, Villaba, Leyte; Esterlina M Jacobe and Brgy. Nasaug, Maasin City; Jenecita T. Losaria of Brgy Catalina, Jiabong, Samar; Efren D. Truelda of Brgy. 13, Catbalogan City, Samar; Wilfredo Bacarra of Brgy. Masagana, Jiabong, Samar; Nathan “Bembem” Gabronino of Brgy. Zone 3, Sogod, Southern Leyte; and Jebanie R. Rios of Barangay Buenavista, Palompon, Leyte.
Also included in the list of five suspended PBs in Region 11 are Maria T. Te of Barangay Manuel Roxas, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental; Josephina Padillo of Barangay Libertad, Bansalan, Davao del Sur; Aurora C. Benemerito of Barangay Bangkal, Matanao, Davao del Sur; Noel V. Alo of Barangay Mayo, City of Mati, Davao Oriental; and Apolonio Toledo of Barangay Harada Butal, Padada, Davao del Sur.
In Region 4-A (Calabarzon) there are four suspended PBs including 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; and Rodelio Endaya of Barangay Baybayin Rosario Batangas.
There are also four suspended PBs in Region 4-B (Mimaropa) namely, Aaron Lubina Villareal of Barangay Villa Cervesa, Oriental Mindoro; Lodilito D. Bandiola Jr. of Barangay Salvacion, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro; Imee Malabayas Lara of Barangay Tumapon, Boac, Marinduque; and Leonardo M. Narzoles of Barangay Tabi, Boac, Marinduque.
Central Luzon has three suspended PBs including Mario Racoma Y. Abujen of Barangay Santo Niño, San Felipe, Zambales; Willie E. Gutierrez of Barangay Nagpandayan, Guimba, Nueva Ecija; and Lavarnie Gopez Y. Pineda of Barangay Bulaon, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Three barangay chairmen are also suspended in Region 10 including Camilo B. Anduyan of Barangy Tibangan, Iligan City; Jocelyn B. Janioso of Barangay Mabunga, Baugnon, Bukidnon; and Zosimo Lao Zapico of Barangay Ampinican, Salay, Misamis Oriental.
In CAR, three barangay captains are also suspended including Jimmy Cabiao of Barangay Quimloong, Bucay, Abra; Dennis Felina of Barangay Luzong, Manabo, Abra; and George Frederick Obal of Barangay Apatan, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.
PB Wilfredo M. Membrillos of Barangay Nong-Nong, Butuan City, Caraga Region is likewise suspended for six months.