DILG issues show cause orders to three governors, two mayors
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday said he issued show cause orders against three provincial governors and two mayors for violating the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines issued by the national government.
He did not name the officials.
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya,also spokesman of the Department of Interior and Local Government ( DILG) said said they cannot yet reveal the officials because DILG is waiting for their written explanation.
“As part of procedural due process, we are asking them to explain. And if warranted, the DILG will file the necessary cases against them. Once we have done so, we can now release their names to the public because cases are now pending against them,” Malaya said.
Año said that violation of quarantine directives issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and the DILG will not go unnoticed.
“The point of all of these national policies is to ensure unity, cohesion, and order in the entire country during the COVID-19 crisis which requires the LGU’s (local government units) full cooperation and compliance,” he said.
“As directed by the President himself, we will not go easy on local government officials who will violate the prescribed directives during the ECQ, that’s the mandate of the DILG ? local government supervision. Therefore, we have no choice but to issue show cause orders and file the necessary charges against them, when necessary, just like what we did to those barangay officials who violated quarantine policies,” Año added.
Año said these officials were given 48 hours from receipt to submit a written explanation why no administrative cases should be filed against them for negligence, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Bayanihan Act.
“Failure to do so will result to an automatic administrative case to be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman,” Año said.
The officials may also face criminal charges from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“We are giving them due process to explain and defend themselves because they enjoy the presumption of regularity in the exercise of official functions unless overturned by sufficient evidence,” he said.
Año said more show cause orders will be issued against local officials in the next few days after the DILG has exhausted all avenues of dialogue with the LGUs.
“We consider LGUs as our partners from the very beginning but once we have exhausted all avenues for dialogue, we have no choice but to start filing cases. We will run after them,” he said.
He said the violations of these local chief executives include violation of the prohibition against mass gatherings, failure to strictly implement social distancing measures, prohibiting the movement of all types of cargo through the borders of his LGU, refusing entry to OFWs that were issued health certifications by the DOH, prohibiting the operations of industries vital to the food security of our country, and prohibiting the entry of essential personnel like health workers into his LGU.
On Tuesday, DILG said show cause orders were issued against four barangay officials from Quezon City and Caloocan City for violation of physical distancing measures and prohibition against mass gathering guidelines under the ECQ. Ella Dionisio/DMS