MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has belied the allegation of the group Bayan Muna that it is forcing local chief executives to support the Anti-Terrorism Bill.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the group’s claims is a “complete falsehood” and an affront to the integrity, intelligence and dignity of local government officials nationwide.
He also said that Bayan Muna should not look down on LGUs and assume that they cannot think for themselves.
“Ano naman ang tingin ng Bayan Muna sa mga LGUs, na wala silang sariling paninindigan at pag-iisip? Ramdam ng LGUs ang panawagan ng kanilang mga kababayan na matagal ng isinusuka ang mga terorista,” Malaya said.
“Nagbubulag-bulagan lamang ang Bayan Muna sa mga hinaing ng mga LGU (local government units) at ng ating mga kababayan lalo na sa mga lugar na patuloy na sinisira ng mga terrorista gaya ng Marawi, Samar, Bikol, Caraga at marami pang iba,” he added.
According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, 784 local chief executives (LCE) made a “genuine stand” in support of the Anti-Terrorism Bill despite the “massive disinformation campaign” against the measure.
Of the 784, Año revealed that 43 are governors which is 53% of the total number nationwide. Some 68 city mayors and 673 municipal mayors have also epressed their support for the passage of the controversial bill
“So far, we have almost half of the LGUs who are one with us in supporting the Anti-Terrorism Bill. It is huge morale booster for us sapagkat ito ay nangangahulugan lamang na hindi kami nag-iisa sa laban na ito,” he said.
The DILG chief also noted that Region IV-A has the most number of LCEs supporting the measure with 96, followed by Region II with 91; 88 for Region III; CAR with 80; and Region I with 73. Other regions such as MIMAROPA has 58; Region XI with 53; Region VI with 52; and Region XII with 50 while Regions V, VII, and XIII have 24, 21, and 32 apiece. NCR and Region VIII have six and four, respectively.
“We have been receiving support from all LGUs across the country, lalo na sa mga malalayong LGU na nagiging biktima ng terorismo at naniniwala na itong bill na ito ang sagot sa kanilang mga problema at pagdurusa,” he said.
He said that among the local chief executives who have conveyed their support for the bill are Metro Manila Mayors League Chairman Edwin Olivarez, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora; Makati City Mayor Abby Binay; Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno; Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez; and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Año believes that support for the Anti-Terrorism Bill from the LGUs are expected to increase as more continue to back the bill down at the grassroots.
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