Show cause order “small price to pay”: Cebu governor
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia said Tuesday the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) possible issuance of a show-cause order as a result of her mask mandate that allows optional mask-wearing outdoors is ''a small price to pay to owning up to my responsibility in taking care of 1.4 million Cebuanos.''
“You know, I would rather answer to the 1.4 million Cebuanos that have given me a resounding vote of trust and confidence. If, in the end, as what media would wish to project, I hope that is not what (Interior and Local Undersecretary) Undersecretary Densing is saying really wants to say, they would issue a show cause order to me? That’s a small price to pay to owning up to my responsibility in taking care of 1.4 million Cebuanos,” Garcia said in a TV interview with CNN Philippines.
Undersecretary Epimaco Densing on Monday said the Department of Interior and Local Government would release a show-cause order as a last resort if Garcia’s face mask rule remains.
Garcia maintained that the autonomy of the Cebu government should be respected, citing the Local Government Code.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) resolutions are not executive orders and are only “recommendatory in nature”, she added.
“Their (IATF) own guidelines say that. It is not called IATF law, it is not called IATF executive order, it is called IATF guidelines,” Garcia said in a separate radio interview with dzBB.
She added that the IATF had no functions that would authorize them to penalize non-mask wearing.
Garcia also reiterated her warning that police in Cebu who arrest people who are not wearing masks will be charged with illegal arrest.
“If there is no law to back up such an arrest, that becomes an illegal arrest. You know, our PNP, they are being put in the middle just because, someone immediately, sometimes, they just hear a buzzword, then they immediately react and order to apprehend. But on what basis here in the province of Cebu? For the non-wearing of masks? We give the mask but we do not penalize with apprehension,” she said.
Cebu is under Alert Level 2, which allows outdoor venues to operate at 70 percent capacity while indoor venues can operate at 50 percent capacity. Jaspearl Tan/DMS