2 Camiguin mayors refute DILG; insist they cleared roads
MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN –– Two town mayors of Camiguin province have refuted the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for including them among 10 mayors to face administrative charges for sitting on an order for clearing the country’s roads of obstructions.
The DILG has included Helenio Abecia of Guinsiliban town and Joseph Uayan of Sagay town on the list.
On Sunday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the municipal executives committed gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct for failing to comply with the government’s directive to clear roads of illegal structures and other obstructions in their jurisdiction.
The local executives were given 60 days to accomplish the task last year.
But Abecia and Uayan insisted that they should not be charged as they have followed the order.
“We have not violated the order. We have implemented it. That’s why I was wondering why we have been charged by the DILG,” said Abecia in an interview Monday.
He said there was no presence of illegal vendors or structures on the town’s streets as Guinsiliban is just a small municipality with a population of 6,000 residents living in seven barangays.
The only obstruction they removed was a basketball post and board that was placed on the side of the street.
Uayan, for his part, conducted road clearing operations once the DILG provincial office relayed to them the order.
He said they trimmed tree branches that have encroached into the town’s roads, towed a parked car, and relocated a house built on a sidewalk.
Sagay is a fifth class town with a population of 12,386 people residing in nine villages.
At first, Uayan said, there were no specific guidelines on what to do when they started the operation, and it was only a few days later that the DILG provincial office instructed them to draft a municipal road-clearing ordinance, rehabilitation plan, inventory of roads with obstruction, and displacement plan as requisites.
He said those requisites were given to them by the DILG after they were given a show cause order in the last week of November last year.
“The DILG gave us a template containing the requisites on what we need to comply with, and we followed them all. We submitted the filled-out template, and the DILG provincial office approved it,” he added.
Uayan said he found it hard to believe that they were to be charged for being negligent when they followed the instruction from the DILG.
Both Abecia and Uayan said they are ready to answer the charges once they receive a copy of the complaint from the Ombudsman./lzb
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