BARMM probes mayor for ‘threats’ to market vendors
COTABATO CITY — An official of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has ordered an investigation on a mayor in Maguindanao del Sur, who threatened business people without local government-issued business permits.
BARMM Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, also the BARMM spokesperson, said the viral video of Mayor Solayman Sandigan of Datu Salibo town was not just a simple social media item.
“We are investigating it. We would like to know what really happened in Datu Salibo,” Sinarimbo said after a video of Sandigan talking to vendors at the town’s commercial district that they would be handcuffed and jailed if they don’t secure business permits from the local government unit (LGU).
“LGU officials have regulatory powers over business operations in their respective areas but the range of penalties should be within the authority of LGUs,” he added.
“If there are penalties, then it should be within the law, not above it, because it is not right,” Sinarimbo told reporters.
Sandigan was seen on the viral video posted on Facebook going around the market and talking to vendors asking them if they had business permits from the LGU or if an existing one had been renewed.
“You want to be handcuffed, you have no business permit?” the local official was overheard talking to vendors.
But Rico Torino, Datu Salibo information officer, stressed that the mayor was “simply joking” and that nobody was actually handcuffed or jailed.
“It was his (mayor’s) way of reminding the vendors to secure permits as provided by law and he did it in a funny way,” Torino said of the Facebook post showing the mayor hopping from one stall to another wearing t-shirt and a cargo shorts.
“That’s how the mayor talks to his constituents,” Torino added.
Just the same, Sinarimbo said, an investigation was underway to give the mayor an opportunity to air his side.