FOR failing to clear of obstructions the public roads within its jurisdiction as directed, the town mayor of Ginatilan, Cebu is now facing charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Complaints for grave misconduct and gross negligence were filed against Mayor Dean Michael Singco and the chiefs of nine other local government units (LGUs) in the country by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Dec. 16, 2019.
The DILG press release listed also the other nine chief executives of Guinsilban, Camiguin; Pili, Camarines; Sur; Sagay, Camiguin; Manticao, Misamis Oriental; Pagsanjan, Samar; Caraga, Davao Oriental; Aurora, Zamboanga Del Sur; Baco, Oriental Mindoro; and Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur as the respondents named in the complaint for the same charges.
Singco expressed his frustration and disappointment that he did not make the DILG grade despite his efforts.
He does not understand the grading system either, he told SunStar Cebu on Friday, Jan. 3, 2019.
He said because his town received a failing grade, the public would think he is hardheaded and lazy.
“Most probably tungod ining failing grade magtuo ang uban nga badlungon ug tapolan ang mayor sa Ginatilan. Mao nga disappointed kaayo ko. Frustrated. Wala ko kasabot ining grado nila. Maayo pa tingali ug moundang ko ini,” he said.
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III announced the filing of ombudsman charges on Facebook Live on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.
Densing said Ginatilan and the nine other LGUs did not comply with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear public roads of obstruction.
The DILG had given LGUs 60 days from July 29, 2019 to do this, after which it inspected and graded the LGUs on their clearing operations based on standards.
President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 22, 2019 had directed all local chief executives to “reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends” within two months.
Of the 1,534 cities and municipalities, 101 failed during the assessment. Ginatilan was one of the LGUs that scored very low.
According to the DILG Memorandum Circular 121-2019, to be fully compliant, the LGU should also enact or revisit ordinances related to road clearing and ban of illegal construction, prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction, develop and implement displacement strategies, and cause the rehabilitation of recovered public roads.
Those who were found to have failed were given a chance to explain their side five days after they received the show cause order issued by the DILG.
No word from DILG
Mayor Singco said he had not received any show cause order nor had anyone from DILG communicated with him on what to do next or where he failed.
“Wala gyud ko nila sultii asa nga mga kalsada. Mangutana mi asang kalsadaha nga road clearing. Kausa ra sad sila niadto. Wala man gani nakigmeeting namo nga mao ni buhaton,” Singco said.
He reproached the DILG for its failure to communicate or explain to the LGUs.
“Mao ni kulang ninyo. Diretso ra’g grado,” he said.
He injected political motive in the filing of charges. He said Densing is a close friend of his political opponent. (JCT)