DILG berates helmet-less Cainta mayor
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday scolded Cainta, Rizal Mayor Johnielle Keith “Kit” Nieto for riding a motorcycle without a helmet, saying he was not setting a good example for his constituents.
But DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that Nieto’s case should not be compared to that of President Rodrigo Duterte who also rode a motorcycle without a helmet and then suffered a fall.
“Election to public office does not grant individuals any special status. Therefore, being a mayor or barangay chair, etc. does not exempt one from the coverage of our laws,” Malaya said in a statement.
He added: “How can we expect ordinary citizens to follow the law if they see their local officials flaunting or defying it and when called out, defend their right not to follow on the grounds that he has signed a waiver?”
Nieto was earlier spotted riding a motorcycle without a helmet on his way to a church wedding. He later publicly apologized for his actions.
Malaya cited President Duterte’s directive that government officials should not act like they were special because they were only workers of the people.
But when asked about the President ’s motorcycle ride without a helmet last month which was caught on video and uploaded by Sen. Christopher Go on social media, Malaya said in a text message: “I don’t think there’s a comparison.”
“The President rode a bike inside the Malacañang compound which is closed to the public while Mayor Nieto rode his bike on public roads on his way to a wedding,” he added.
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