THE Department of the Interior and Local Government Central Visayas (DILG 7) served a show cause order (SCO) to Barangay Ermita, Cebu chief Mark Rizaldy Miral and his councilors on Tuesday morning, Aug. 18, 2020, to explain why they shouldn’t be charged for allowing an illegal cockfight in their village.
Ian Kenneth Lucero, DILG Cebu City acting head, said the SCO against Miral and his councilors is based on photos of the cockfight that went viral on social media.
The photos, which were posted on SunStar Cebu’s official Facebook page, showed residents of Barangay Ermita gathering in a vacant lot across the viaduct at the Cebu South Coastal Road.
Some of the people in the photo were not wearing masks and not observing social distancing, violating quarantine protocol.
If found guilty, Miral and his barangay councilors could face charges for violating Presidential Decree 449 or the Cockfighting Law of 1974 as amended by Presidential Decree 1602 or the amended Anti-Illegal Gambling Law.
They could face charges for violating local and national quarantine protocol.
Miral and his councilors were required to submit their replies to the DILG within 48 hours, Lucero added.
Sought for comment, Miral said he somehow expected to receive an SCO from the DILG after several barangay officials had been issued the same for their alleged failure to impose community quarantine guidelines amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said they have forwarded the SCO to their lawyer and will send their explanation to DILG on Aug. 19, the soonest possible time.
He admitted however, that it is somehow hard on their part to control their constituents especially those stubborn residents.
He said: “It’s normal. We cannot look after everyone because given our current situation, it will always be a cat-and-mouse game. And this is not happening only in Barangay Ermita but in others as well.”
He said since March 28, they had been religiously imposing the community quarantine measures in their village.
This was not the first time a barangay official from Cebu City was made to explain for violating quarantine protocol.
The DILG 7 first issued SCOs to barangay officials of 11 Cebu City barangays—Basak San Nicolas, Mambaling, Calamba, Inayawan, Guadalupe, Basak Pardo, Cogon Pardo, Sto. Niño, San Nicolas Proper, Capitol Site and Bulacao—for their alleged failure to perform the mandated duties and functions of the local chief executive and Sangguniang Barangay members during a state of national public health emergency. (WBS)