AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds local chief executives that nobody is exempted from President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to clear roads from obstructions.
DILG-Northern Mindanao director Arnel Agabe made the statement amid the row between city and capitol officials over the road clearing operations.
Agabe refused to comment further on the issue, but reiterated that clearing of roads should now be a part of every local governments’ policy.
Capitol and city hall officials have exchanged tirades after clearing team spokesperson Antonio Resma told Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano to clear the capitol premises from obstruction.
The latest personality to join in the heated argument is Provincial Board Member Gerardo “Boboy” Sabal.
In his privilege speech on Monday, October 7, Sabal said he was “deeply disturbed” by a statement from Resma threatening Emano.
Sabal insisted that there is separation of powers between the city and capitol.
“The provincial government reserves the right to make its own rules, guidelines, among others, for example, how traffic is being managed and how the different properties inside the capitol compound are being managed by the province,” he said.
“No local government unit can transgress or overlap that function of the province,” he added.
Sabal warned the city’s clearing team not to conduct its operations inside the capitol compound, pointing out that the order shall only be executed by the local chief executive.
“Gov. Bambi Emano has in the past, followed directives given by President. I hope all other should respect the jurisdiction,” he added.
Meanwhile, Agabe said they have already submitted the accomplishment report of the region to the DILG central office, which will validate the results submitted.
“Right now, what we really want is to encourage local government units to sustain the roads that were already cleared,” Agabe said.
He cited a new memorandum circular issued by the DILG, directing local government units to turn over the cleared roads to the village officials, who will make sure that gains made will be maintained.
“It is not the accountability of barangay officials nga ang na-clear di na mga areas, dili na gyud balikan. We want these areas to be permanently cleared from obstruction,” he said.
“Dili buot pasabot nga humana ang deadline, dili na magpadayon kay ang atoa sa September 29 deadline, was there substantial or significant accomplishment made? But we need to sustain it,” he added.
Agabe said failure to follow this directive will face administrative sanctions.
For his part, Resma said it was not his intention to threaten Emano or the provincial government but only answered queries from reporters.
Emano, in a statement last week, said he would take legal action should the city clearing team proceed to clear roads within the capitol compound.