Work continues at DILG agenciesBy Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Agencies under the Department of the Interior and Local Government remain functional despite the absence of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, government officials said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters after a 9 a.m. Mass held for the safe return of Robredo at La Salle Greenhills in Mandaluyong City, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda gave the assurance that operations at the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, among others, have not been disrupted.
A massive search and rescue operation was ongoing on Monday to find Robredo and two pilots following the crash of a four-seater Piper Seneca plane in the waters off Masbate province Saturday afternoon. Robredo’s aide, Police Senior Inspector June Paulo Abrazado, was rescued by fishermen after he managed to swim out of the sinking plane.
“The agencies under the DILG, the PNP, are functioning. All the other agencies, BJMP, are all functioning,” Lacierda said, citing the presence of undersecretaries Rico Puno and Austere Panadero.
Although according to Puno, a temporary head had not been designated at the DILG, he said that he and Panadero were in constant contact with their bureau chiefs and assistant secretaries for “collective decisions” to be made.
He said that at the same time, they were following the instructions Robredo had given them prior to the plane crash.
“Yes. (There are difficult times ahead. That’s why we’re working now as a team. We just get advice from each other in order to have (sic) a decision…,” Puno said.