Malacañang on Tuesday urged the public to report anomalies in the distribution of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency subsidy program for poor households and provide evidence to support the allegations.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque gave the advice after President Rodrigo Duterte offered a P30,000 reward to anyone who can report local officials stealing financial aid.
“Kinakailangan magsumite po ng ebidensya dahil ang pabuya po ay doon sa mapapatunayang tama po ang paratang. Hindi lang po magpaparatang, kinakailangan patunayan,” Roque said in a televised briefing.
Roque cited a case of barangay councilor Danilo Flores of Barangay San Agustin in Hagonoy, Bulacan, who was caught on video telling residents that they would not get the full amount of the cash assistance (P6,500).
Flores allegedly took up to P3,500 from the P6,500 cash aid distributed to each beneficiary in the barangay.
However, the barangay official claimed he had an “internal agreement” with the recipients that the money would be given to residents who did not get aid.
Roque said criminal charges should be filed with the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Administrative complaints should be filed with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Roque also said the government will protect the identity of those who will report anomalies.
“Huwag po kayong mag-alala about your identity. As much as possible, we will protect your identity and if need be, kung talagang kakasuhan ‘yung tao, makakapasok kayo sa Witness Protection Program ng gobyerno,” Roque said.
“Alam po natin na politics is always local, dahil po diyan bibigyan po ng careful attention ang inyong identity,” he said./Stacy Ang