Admin raps filed vs Maguindanao, Pangasinan mayors for quarantine violations
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it had filed administrative complaints against the mayor and councilor of Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan for organizing a birthday party last May 6.
“DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that two (2) cases have been referred to the Ombudsman, particularly against the mayor and a councilor in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan, for holding a birthday celebration/mass gathering which violated social distancing and the prevailing curfew,” read the statement from DILG Public Information Office.
To recall, Sto. Tomas Mayor Timoteo Villar III and his son, Councilor Dickerson Villar were highly criticized after organizing a birthday party during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine as shown in a viral video.
The councilor shared the video through his Facebook account which was later deleted but still managed to circulate online.
The DILG also said it filed an administrative case against Babydats Mangudadatu, mayor of Buluan, Maguindanao, for allegedly failing to stop mass gatherings in his municipality which is a violation of physical distancing under quarantine protocols.
Mangudadatu, however, said they have already responded to the DILG’s warning on the city’s alleged violation of physical distancing.
“With all due respect, we praise the DILG for their unwavering devotion towards the stern and justifiable acts of correction and judgment; for which government officials may, often than not, commit different acts that may deter the betterment of our nation,” he said in a Facebook post.
“However, we have already replied about the matter in this alleged ‘non-compliance to social distancing’ report last 4 months ago,” Mangudadatu added.
In a letter sent to DILG dated July 3, the Buluan mayor said they “already dealt with” the alleged mass gathering incidents.
Specifically, the two mass gathering incidents transpired at a mosque last April 5, and at a pawnshop last April 15.
Año said the agency filed the complaints against the local government executives for violations of the enhanced community quarantine protocols.
“Binusisi po nang maigi ng Kagawaran ang mga natanggap na reklamo at ebidensya laban sa ilang local government officials. Base rin sa kanilang naging sagot sa show cause orders ng DILG ay napag-alamang mayroon silang naging kapabayaan,” the DILG chief said in the same statement.
(We looked into these issues and pieces of evidence closely. Based on the answers in their show cause orders, the DILG found that they have lapses.)
Letter of admonition
The interior department also admonished a city mayor from Central Luzon for a mass gathering that happened while distributing the social amelioration program (SAP) forms.
“The (SAP) recipients who still went the next day were immediately dispersed to avoid any violation. The city government later on committed to the DILG that it will adopt corrective measures to avoid similar incidents,” the agency said.
The agency also admonished a town mayor from Western Visayas for allegedly refusing to accept an overseas Filipino worker in their quarantine facility “despite obtaining the necessary clearances from appropriate agencies”.
A town mayor in Ilocos Region, meanwhile, was admonished for his “unruly behavior” at a police checkpoint, the DILG said.
The local government official was believed to be drunk at that time, DILG also noted.
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