THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued show cause orders against three governors and two mayors who have allegedly violated the enhanced community quarantine rules.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Wednesday, April 15, that they will identify the five local government officials once they respond to the show cause letters sent to them.
The five officials were given 48 hours to explain why they should not be slapped with administrative charges for negligence, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act.
Malaya said the officials allegedly violated the prohibition against mass gatherings, failed to strictly implement social distancing measures, prohibited the movement of all types of cargo through the borders of his province or city or town, refused entry to overseas Filipino workers who have been issued health certifications by the Department of Health, prohibited the operation of industries vital to the country’s food security, and prohibited the entry of essential personnel like health workers, among others.
Failure to explain these alleged violations will result in the automatic filing of an administrative case before the Office of the Ombudsman, Malaya said.
The five officials may also face criminal charges from the National Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice.
Earlier, the DILG also issued show cause orders to four barangay officials.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said they have a zero tolerance policy for erring local officials during this public health emergency.
“The point of all of these national policies is to ensure unity, cohesion, and order in the entire country during the Covid-19 crisis which requires the LGU’s full cooperation and compliance,” he said.
“As directed by the President himself, we will not go easy on local government officials who will violate the prescribed directives during the ECQ, that’s the mandate of the DILG – local government supervision. Therefore, we have no choice but to issue show cause orders and file the necessary charges against them, when necessary, kagaya ng ginawa natin sa ilang barangay official na lumabag din sa quarantine policies,” he added.
Año said more show cause orders will be issued against local chief executives in the next few days.
“We consider LGUs as our partners from the very beginning but once we have exhausted all avenues for dialogue, we have no choice but to start filing cases. Hahabulin namin sila,” he said.
The entire Luzon as well as several areas in the country like Cebu are under strict quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, or Sars-CoV-2, which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The Philippines is under as state of national emergency, state of public health emergency and state of calamity because of the Covid-19 pandemic. (SunStar Philippines)