THREE Cebu mayors were administratively charged by the Department of the Interior and Local Government on Wednesday, March 27, for not being able to organize and activate anti-drug abuse councils (Adacs) in their areas of responsibility.

The mayors of the City of Toledo, San Francisco, and San Fernando in Cebu were charged with violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act before the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday, March 27.

DILG Assistant Secretary Ricojudge Echiverri led the filing of the charges.

Toledo City Mayor John Henry Osmeña said the DILG is making baseless accusations.

“Gapataka lang na sila. Duna mi uy. Hagbay ra (They’re wrong. We have one. Put up a long time ago),” Osmeña told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday.

Osmeña believes that the DILG’s move to sue him is “politically motivated.”

“Kontra kaayo na sila nako (They don’t like me). They don’t want me to assume office after the court reversed my suspension and wanted (Vice Mayor Antonio) Yapha to serve as mayor, “ Osmeña said.

He said the DILG did not give him a chance to present his case before them.

Separately, San Francisco Mayor Aly Arquillano questioned the inclusion of his name in the list.

Arquillano told SunStar Cebu that his town would not have been declared as “drug-cleared” by the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (Cpadao) last year if his Adacs had been inactive.

“Ambot lang ug ngano na. Gani, bag-o man gane mi gi-clear sa Province. All of my barangays are now drug-cleared (I don’t know how that happened. In fact, we were cleared by the Province recently),” Arquillano said. He plans to ask for a clarification from the DILG on the matter.

SunStar Cebu tried getting the side of San Fernando Mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya, but calls and text messages to her cellular phone remained unanswered as of Wednesday night.

A total of 50 mayors and one governor were charged for not organizing the Adac. They are from the following localities: Province of Tawi-tawi; Lacub, Abra; Burdeos, Quezon; San Narciso, Quezon; Sariaya, Quezon; Lopez, Quezon; Perez, Quezon; Rizal, Palawan; Kalayaan, Palawan; Taytay, Palawan; Quezon, Palawan; Tagkawayan, Quezon; City of Toledo, Cebu; San Francisco, Cebu; Irosin, Sorsogon; Santa Magdalena, Sorsogon; Magallanes, Sorsogon; Langiden, Abra; Lagangilang, Abra; San Isidro, Northern Samar; Las Navas, Northern Samar; City of Borongan, Eastern Samar; Malabang, Lanao del Sur; Kapai, Lanao del Sur; Manabo, Abra; Pidigan, Abra; Licuan-Baay, Abra; Tagaloan II, Lanao del Sur; Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur; Marogong, Lanao del Sur; Poona Bayabao, Lanao del Sur; Marantao, Lanao del Sur; Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya; Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya; Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya; Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya; Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Vizcaya; Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya; Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya; Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya; Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya.

The mayors of the following areas were also charged for having a non-functional Adac: Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan; Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat; Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Maguing, Lanao del Sur; Lasam, Cagayan; San Fernando, Cebu; Bay, Laguna; Camiling, Tarlac.

The DILG conducted an audit in 2018 on local government units that were found to have lapses in the creation of their anti-drug abuse councils. (With TPM of SunStar Philippines)