DILG files admin raps vs 10 mayors for failing to comply with road clearing order
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has filed administrative charges against 10 mayors over their alleged failure to comply with the government’s directive to clear roads of illegal obstructions.
In a statement on Sunday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that the cases have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman after the local chief executives (LCEs) “failed” to “satisfactorily” answer the show cause orders issued by the department last October.
The show cause orders were sent to 97 local government units (LGUs) across the country seeking explanation for their non-compliance to the DILG’s directive based on the assessment and validation conducted by the agency.
“This is just the first batch of cases to be filed and we will file the succeeding batches as soon as our lawyers have finished reviewing the validation reports and the corresponding answers by the mayors,” Año said.
He said that administrative cases for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct were filed against the mayors of Baco, Oriental Mindoro; Pili, Camarines Sur; Ginatilan, Cebu; Pagsanghan, Samar; Aurora and Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur; Sagay and Guinsiliban, Camuigin; Manticao, Misamis Oriental; and Caraga, Davao Oriental.
Año said that the aforementioned local government units were given reasonable time to comply with the government’s directive to reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends.
But the mayors, he said, “failed to perform their duty to clear their roads of obstructions.”
“They did not develop or implement any displacement program or plan, they do not have any long-term rehabilitation and sustainability plan in place, and they failed to set up a feedback or grievance mechanism for their constituents; hence, we are compelled to seek their suspension from office,” Año said.
During his 4th State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the DILG to lead in the road clearing operations and suspend non-compliant LCEs.
The DILG then released Memorandum Circular 2019-121 directing LCEs to use all their powers under the law to reclaim public roads being used for private ends.
“These 10 LGUs have registered the lowest validation scores through the stringent nationwide evaluation and monitoring of the DILG. Hindi naman tayo nagkulang ng paalala sa mga pamahalaang lokal,” Año said.
Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, meanwhile, said that the agency will issue a new directive for a new 75-day road-clearing operation.
“We noticed that some of the obstructions have returned and the LGUs have done nothing to stop their return especially during the holidays,” Malaya said.
“We hope that all our mayors understand that this is now a policy of the government until the end of this administration. They will have to lead and do their responsibilities, otherwise they will face charges and the threat of suspension,” he added.
“The challenge here is to sustain the gains of the road clearing last year for the long run so the Secretary will soon issue a new directive to ensure that all encroachments are permanently removed and that LGUs are vigilant in enforcing the law,” he further said.
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