DILG to file raps vs more mayors
The 45 mayors charged administratively by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for failing to set up local anti-drug abuse councils will not be the last group of local officials to be censured for the omission.
They are apart from the 46 on President Duterte’s list of so-called narcopoliticians against whom administrative charges have been filed in the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is building up criminal cases against the 46, Aaron Aquino, its chief, said in a television interview on Thursday.
DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya told the Inquirer on Thursday that another group of mayors would be charged in the Office of the Ombudsman next month.
Malaya said the department brought charges against 20 mayors on March 14.
On Wednesday, he said, it filed charges against 25 other mayors for failing to form antidrug abuse councils in their jurisdictions.
Malaya, however, said it was uncertain if the 45 mayors were on Duterte’s narcolist.
“We will have to countercheck the names of the mayors we charged against those on the list,” he said.
Far and wide
In a statement late Wednesday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the mayors failed or refused to set up antidrug abuse councils despite repeated directives from the DILG and the Dangerous Drugs Board.
According to Año, 15 of the mayors are from the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon in the Bicol region; seven are from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, specifically in Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Lanao del Sur provinces; and five are from the provinces of Abra and Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Also among those charged administratively are five mayors in Palawan; four in Cebu province; three in Agusan del Norte; three in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon; two in Cagayan province and Nueva Vizcaya; and one in Eastern Samar.
By failing to form antidrug abuse councils, Año said, the 45 mayors have “committed grave misconduct in office and gross dereliction of duty,” grounds for which elective officials may be disciplined, suspended or removed from office.
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