CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants to know who told senior citizens to go to the City Hall on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, to claim their cash assistance.
Labella has directed the police in coordination with the City Attorney’s Office to investigate the incident.
“But it seems that there are certain quarters that are responsible for the dissemination of false information to the senior citizens. That’s why we were so surprised yesterday that there were hundreds of senior citizens that flocked to City Hall. When asked, they were told that there were people who told them that they could go to Osca (Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs) until June 15.”
City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. posted on his Facebook page a screenshot of a comment of former councilor Sisinio Andales, member of local opposition party Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), that the deadline for the senior citizens’ cash assistance distribution would be on June 15.
Casas, in his caption, asked who was liable for the “instant distribution” on June 10: City Hall officials and the mayor who accommodated the senior citizens? Or the people who instigated the senior citizens to go to the City Hall and spread wrong information on the deadline, which caused panic among senior citizens?
BOPK legal counsel Armando Virgil Ligutan said City Hall officials should not blame other people for the incident.
Ligutan presented a screenshot of an exchange between an individual and the Osca on the latter’s Facebook page where Osca stated that the deadline for the distribution would be on June 15.
Ligutan said Labella does not need “to look further” on who was responsible for last Wednesday’s incident, adding that “he can ask his own people.”
“They’d better not pass the blame to other people. They themselves are to blame for the mess,” he said. “Also, if City Hall was not expecting the senior citizens to come, why were the tables and chairs already prepared?”
Andales said the organizing committee should be charged administratively and criminally.
“Instead of protecting the senior citizens by not allowing them to go outside their residences, they were told to go to City Hall. Who can command the senior citizens to go to City Hall? Is it the opposition? Wrong defensive mechanism on their part. They should admit their fault,” he said. (JJL)