Abra, Samar mayors charged for failure to clear roads

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has filed administrative charges against two mayors from the provinces of Abra and Samar over their failure to clear provincial roads in their area.

Boliney, Abra Mayor Benido Balao-as and Motiong, Samar Mayor Renato Cabael are facing a complaint for neglect of duty and grave misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said Friday, February 28, 2020, that the two local government officials failed to respond to the show cause order which sought their explanation for their failure to comply with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to clear roads of obstructions.

“We meant it when we said that cases will be filed against negligent local execs. Unless local chief executives get their acts together and take the President’s instructions to clear roads seriously, they will be held accountable and face charges,” he said.

Año said that the DILG validating team found nine roads in Motiong obstructed with illegally parked vehicles, barangay structures, store encroachments, shanties, garbage dumps, canal obstructions, plants and construction materials.

The local government of Boliney, on the other hand, failed to present an inventory of the provincial, municipal and barangay roads in the town. A provincial road was also found obstructed with extended canopies.

Año said both LGUs also failed to come up with rehabilitation and sustainability plans.

They also failed to set up a grievance and feedback mechanism on clearing of road obstructions.

“The Municipalities of Motiong and Boliney obtained a total score of not more than 50 points in the indicators set by the DILG. Such score translated to their glaring failure to follow the rule of law that public streets are for public use,” he said.

Following the 90-day ultimatum for the clearing of provincial and national roads, the DILG issued show cause orders to 97 LGUs in October 2019.

After the validation, the first batch of administrative cases for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct were filed in January against the municipal mayors of Baco, Oriental Mindoro; Pili, Camarines Sur; Ginatilan, Cebu; Pagsanghan, Samar; Aurora and Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur; Sagay and Guinsiliban, Camiguin; Manticao, Misamis Oriental; and Caraga, Davao Oriental.

Of the 97, 12 LGUs were charged with negligence, dereliction of duty, and lack of cooperation.

"The 12 LGUs registered the lowest validation scores in the stringent nationwide evaluation and monitoring by the DILG despite our giving them enough time and fair warning," he said.

“More cases will be filed as soon as our lawyers have finished reviewing the validation reports and the corresponding answers by the mayors,” he added.

Aside from the clearing of provincial and national roads and highways, the DILG also issued last week an order giving LGUs 75 days to clear inner and tertiary roads in their areas of responsibility.

The order to clear roads of obstructions came from President Rodrigo Duterte, who gave it during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2019. (SunStar Philippines)


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