DILG ‘drug war’ order misses Isko Moreno by a year
Who’s afraid of Isko Moreno?
Apparently not the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), which issued a show-cause order asking Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno’’ Domagoso to explain the supposed “failure” of the city government to do its part in waging the Duterte administration’s war on drugs in 2018.
But not long after the order came out, netizens did some fact-checking, circulating posts from news organizations pointing out a major error—Domagoso was not yet the mayor in 2018, but a social welfare undersecretary. The show biz celebrity-turned-politician unseated the reelectionist Joseph Estrada in the 2019 elections.
The DILG quickly withdrew the order, citing its “inadvertent reissuance.”
Domagoso, who has made no secret about his plans to run for higher office in the 2022 elections, took the fiasco in stride.
“They can do what they want to do,” he said in an interview on Teleradyo. “I’ll still continue to believe that there is democracy in this country.’’
On Twitter, however, the measured language was off as the mayor wryly took the DILG’s act as part of an intriguing pattern: “Wow galing ha! Sunod sunod na! #AlamNaThis’’.
In a memorandum dated July 9 and issued by Interior Undersecretary Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri, Domagoso was asked to explain the “alleged failure [of the city government] to implement the war on drugs in 2018.”
Echiverri said the show-cause order was first transmitted by the DILG to the Manila city government in 2019, the same year the Anti-Drug Abuse Council finalized its audit of Manila’s performance for 2018.
The 2019 audit “reflected the poor performance of the City Government of Manila under the previous City Mayor.”
But on Friday, Echiverri withdrew the July 9 memorandum—a follow-up order—after being corrected on the internet regarding the year Domagoso became mayor.
“By virtue of this error and the guidance of policies and procedures of the Department, we are hereby withdrawing the document in issue,” Echiverri said.
No political motiveInterior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya later apologized to Domagoso for the “honest mistake.”
“In behalf of Undersecretary Echiverri, we would like to extend our apologies to Mayor Isko Moreno for the erroneous show-cause order that was issued by Undersecretary Echiverri’s office,” Malaya said at the Laging Handa briefing.
He said there was no need to ascribe any political motive to the DILG’s oversight.
“I can assure the public and I can assure Mayor Isko Moreno that this has no hint or tint of political motivation,” he said, adding that after the show-cause order came out on Thursday, it was discussed in the department that same day and then later withdrawn.
“The public can see how fast, transparent and honest the DILG is,” Malaya said. “I hope this also proves to the public that the DILG is fair, transparent and unbiased, and that there is nothing political in the mistake of the office of Undersecretary Echiverri,” Malaya said.
Domagoso put an end to the episode on a cryptic note: “To me it’s just like out in one ear. It is not up for me to ask for [an apology]. We each have a different character in life. Someday, we will see each other in the finals.’’ —With a report from Dexter Cabalza
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.