CEBU

Barangay captain lands in hot water over ‘hantak’

THE barangay captain of Basak Pardo, Cebu City was issued a show cause order for a gambling session that took place in one of the barangay’s sitios on Friday, July 3, 2020.

Catalina Cabardo was directed to respond in 24 hours.

Photos that show a number of residents playing an illegal coin game “hantak” circulated online on Friday.

Based on reports gathered by the Cebu City Legal Office (CLO), the gambling session happened in Sitio Ulap with around 15 residents participating, constituting a mass gathering, which is not allowed while the city is on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

If the CLO finds Cabardo liable, she will face charges, such as dereliction of duty and gross negligence which may lead to a six-month suspension, said City Attorney Rey Gealon.

Cabardo, in an interview, said the barangay only learned about the gambling session through social media.

Cabardo has requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deploy police personnel to Sitio Ulap.

She said a police officer with barangay tanods went to the area Friday afternoon, but the crowd had gone.

She said they were able to get the names of some of the participants so the barangay can call their attention and impose appropriate actions.

Cabardo said she already assigned tanods in the sitio.

She said when the illegal activity was taking place, the tanods were either out on patrol or were at their posts, adding that the barangay only has 10 tanods.

According to the show cause order, the incident violated the executive order issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella and guidelines of the ECQ issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which prohibit mass gathering.

Gealon said barangay officials are mandated to strictly implement local and national guidelines to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“It is apparent from the occurrence that the barangay has been too complacent in implementing the clear mandate of the law and has been negligent in its duty to enforce Executive Order Section 3 of the said executive order provided that the barangay officials are mandated to implement to the fullest extent the directives of the executive order and that each barangay should establish checkpoints in strategic areas of their respective jurisdictions, in close coordination with law enforcement agencies,” part of the show cause order reads.

Meanwhile, Cabardo appealed to constituents not to engage in any gambling activity and to follow health and community quarantine protocols instead.

“People should understand that we are in the middle of a health crisis. We should help each because if we don’t, we will be the ones to suffer,” she said in Cebuano.

In a previous report, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario said sanctions await village chiefs should they fail to implement community quarantine policies.

Cabardo is not the only barangay captain to have been issued a show cause order by the City after the latter issued a similar order to Basak San Nicolas Barangay Captain Norman Navarro for a procession and a Sinulog dance performance in Sitio Alumnos last month. (JJL)


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