The Ombudsman dismissed the cases of malversation, serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service against Barangay Alang-Alang Captain Patricio Soco and Barangay Centro Captain Ignacio Cortes II.
The joint resolution issued by the Ombudsman was received separately by the accused last Friday, May 20, 2022.
Both Soco and Cortes II were among the 89 barangay captains in the country who were preventively suspended for six months after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed the cases against them due to the alleged irregularities in the SAP distribution.
The two barangay captains expressed happiness with the decision of the Ombudsman, saying the truth has prevailed.
“Nigawas na gyud ang kamatuoran nga kita wala ta magbinoang sa atoang pagpanerbisyo, tinud-anay ang atong pagpanerbisyo,” said Cortes, although he acknowledged that there are some constituents who would not understand.
In his Facebook post, Soco said the Office of the Ombudsman proved that the righteous and just in the service of the people will succeed.
“Taliwala sa mga walay basehan nga pasangil, walay korapsyon sa SAP implementation sa atong barangay ubos sa akong administrasyon,” he said.
Cortes said the cases filed against him merely proved that he was dedicated to his work as a public servant, noting the saying that an official is not as effective or efficient when he or she would not be faced with charges.
He said the DILG and other individuals have the right to file cases against him, stressing he would welcome these since his conscience was clear and they followed the guidelines in the distribution.
Cortes said he merely recommended who were qualified, adding that he had nothing to do with the approval, since it was the work of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which has the final say on who would receive the assistance.
Should there be individuals who lied during the interviews or process, Cortes said they are the ones liable and not him.
SAP is a cash subsidy program launched by the National Government in 2020, particularly for low-income families, after the country was placed under lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Each SAP beneficiary was entitled to receive P5,000 to P8,000 cash subsidy in two tranches.