2 town mayors in Samar, Abra charged over road clearing failure
MANILA, Philippines — The mayors of Motiong, Samar and Boliney, Abra are facing administrative cases for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman for their supposed failure to meet standards for the nationwide road-clearing drive.
“We meant it when we said that cases will be filed against negligent local execs. Unless local chief executives get their acts together and take the President’s instructions to clear roads seriously, they will be held accountable and face charges,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement on Friday.
Año said this is the second batch of cases filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against mayors who failed to clear public roads of obstructions as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte during his last State of the Nation Address.
He said the two local chief executives “failed to satisfactorily respond” to show-cause orders issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government after their respective local government units fared poorly in the validation and assessment conducted by the department.
During the assessment, the DILG validating team found out that in Motiong, nine roads were found with illegally parked vehicles, store encroachments, shanties, garbage dumps, canal obstructions, plants, construction materials, and other structures considered as obstructions.
Meanwhile, the DILG team discovered that the Boliney LGU failed to present an inventory of the provincial, municipal and barangay roads.
Extended canopies were also found in a portion of a certain provincial road under the jurisdiction of the municipality.
Both LGUs likewise failed to come up with rehabilitation and sustainability plans and to set up a “grievance and feedback mechanism” on the clearing of road obstructions, said Año.
“The municipalities of Motiong and Boliney obtained a total score of not more than 50 points in the indicators set by the DILG. Such score translated to their glaring failure to follow the rule of law that public streets are for public use,” said the Interior Secretary.
In October last year, the DILG issued show-cause orders to 97 LGUs nationwide, demanding their explanation for their non-compliance with the department’s directive.
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