MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it has filed complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against three local officials for their alleged violations of the quarantine protocols.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said two administrative complaints have been filed against the mayor and a councilor in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan for allegedly holding a birthday celebration despite the prevailing ban on mass gathering under the enhanced community quarantine rules.
Año said the gathering violated social distancing and the prevailing curfew.
Meanwhile, the DILG also filed a complaint against the mayor of Buluan, Maguindanao after he allegedly failed to prohibit mass gatherings in his municipality.
The department said it has not received any reply to the show cause order issued to the said mayor hence he has been considered to have waived his right to reply.
“Binusisi po ng 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,” Año said.
The DILG chief also said they have sent a letter of admonition and warning to a city mayor from Central Luzon for supposedly holding a mass gathering when distributing Social Amelioration Program (SAP) forms to the transport sector.
The DILG said the mayor has already committed to adopt corrective measures to avoid similar incidents.
A town mayor from Western Visayas was also admonished by the DILG for allegedly refusing to allow an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) to be quarantined within the municipality because the OFW was said to have come from an “infected country” despite obtaining the necessary clearances from appropriate agencies.
Año said there was no showing that the municipal government exerted effort to facilitate the return of the OFW in violation of the President’s directive to welcome all OFWs subject to local health protocols.
“Ngayong panahon ng pandemya lalong higit dapat bantayan ng DILG ang mga pamahalaang lokal sa maayos na pangagasiwa at pagpapatupad ng nasyunal na polisiya at tiyaking natutugunan ang mga daing ng mamamayan laban sa kanilang mga lokal na lider,” he said.
Also, an admonition was also issued to a town mayor from Ilocos Region for unruly behavior towards police officers assigned at a checkpoint and who was alleged to have been intoxicated when it happened.
The DILG vowed to continue handling complaints from the public about the questionable actions of local officials.
“In first issuing the Show Cause Order, we ensure that due process is observed and that the side of the local chief executive is heard before we make our conclusions,” the department said.
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