THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Central Visayas issued show cause orders (SCOs) to the barangay captains of Bulacao and Capitol Site in Cebu City on Thursday, July 9, 2020.
They are the fifth batch of barangay officials who were issued SCOs by the DILG-Central Visayas for alleged failure to properly implement the community quarantine guidelines in their jurisdiction.
They were given 48 hours to explain why they should not be held liable for failing to perform the mandated duties and functions of a local chief executive during a state of national health emergency.
DILG-Central Visayas’s Bantay Korapsyon lawyers Louthera Christie Rizon and Christian Fernandez served the SCOs to Bulacao Barangay Captain Rodrigo Jabellana and Capitol Site Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon and their respective Sangguniang Barangay (SB) members on July 9.
A post showing long queues of residents in Bulacao during the distribution of rice without observing social distancing circulated on social media.
In the case of Capitol Site, a video posted by a concerned citizen on social media also showed some residents eating outside their homes, which are just across the barangay hall.
Two persons were also seen sitting at the entrance of the barangay hall but allegedly did not call out the erring residents.
DILG-Central Visayas, as of this writing Friday, July 10, has issued a total of 11 SCOs to Cebu City barangay officials directing them to explain their side on the allegations.
First to be issued an SCO was Basak San-Nicolas Barangay Captain Norman Navarro on June 29, followed by Calamba village chief Victor Quijano Jr. on June 30; Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo and Calamba SB member Renante Bendol on July 3 and Barangay Captains Catalina Cabardo (Basak-Pardo), Harry Eran (Cogon Pardo), Lourdes Ramirez (Sto. Niño), Clifford Jude Niñal (San Nicolas Proper) and Michael Gacasan (Guadalupe) and their SB members on July 7.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) found that the Barangay Basak Pardo officials should not be held liable for the gambling session in Sitio Ulap, Basak Pardo.
Cebu City Attorney Rey Gealon, however, advised the barangay officials to continue coordinating with the Philippine National Police in the filing of charges against those involved in the gambling session.
The CLO found that the barangay has implemented the policies of the City and of the national government, but Gealon encouraged the barangay officials to have proper communication channels and a chain of command so that the barangay can immediately respond in case another similar incident happens.
The CLO has forwarded its recommendation to the DILG Cebu City to consolidate its findings.
“The defense of the officials of Brgy. Basak Pardo is tenable and meritorious, thus the City Legal Office found sufficient legal and factual bases to exonerate them, subject to the consolidated findings of the DILG,” said Gealon.
Basak Pardo Barangay Captain Catalina Cabardo explained that the barangay tanods were not able to respond immediately to the gambling session since some were responding to a theft incident and vehicular accident along N. Bacalso Ave., while some were assigned to the distribution of quarantine passes, and the others were found to be infected with Covid-19, thus, affecting the manpower.
The CLO also noted that the “hantak” was organized by the erring individuals themselves.
Cabardo said the PNP has an ongoing investigation on the incident to identify the residents involved in the “hantak” session. (WBS, JJL)