Acosta criticizes security measures at MinDA

Embattled chair, Secretary Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta, criticized the recent security measures implemented at the Mindanao Development Office (MinDA), particularly the posting of two security guards at the entrance, calling them unjustified and unnecessary.
Embattled chair, Secretary Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta, criticized the recent security measures implemented at the Mindanao Development Office (MinDA), particularly the posting of two security guards at the entrance, calling them unjustified and unnecessary. Maria Belen Acosta/Facebook

EMBATTLED chair, Secretary Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta, criticized the recent security measures implemented at the Mindanao Development Office (MinDA), particularly the posting of two security guards at the entrance, calling them unjustified and unnecessary. 

The issue arose after MinDA, a government agency, urged Acosta to surrender all personal property and assets under her term to the new administration.

Acosta expressed disappointment, emphasizing that the office belongs to the government and should remain accessible to all.

“It is a government office. Why would you bar or restrict entry to the government office?...Pero ang nangyari, ipinagbabawal na kahit na sino na magpunta sa Office of the Chairperson. First time po yan na nangyari. Nakakalungkot kase [dahil] ang opisina na yan ay hindi pagmamay-ari ng kahit kanino, yan po ay pagmamay-ari ng government office - ibig sabihin, pera po ng bayan ang ginamit nyan (It's a government office. Why restrict entry? But now, they've barred anyone from accessing the Office of the Chairperson. This is unprecedented and disheartening because that office doesn't belong to anyone; it belongs to the government, meaning taxpayers' money was used),” she said in a special press conference last June 10, clarifying that the order was just recently issued following the appointment of Secretary Leo Tereso Magno as the new chairman.

On June 10, Acosta shared a one-page document on her Facebook account outlining the new rules for visitors to the 14th-floor office of MinDA. These rules restricted access, allowing only authorized personnel or visitors with confirmed appointments to enter the 14th floor.

“These security protocols were not there before. People normally come and go inside my office. It is after all a government office. Its purpose is to serve the people. This is not personal property. It belongs to the people. All these are happening even when they know that there is an ongoing case. If I go to my office now, will they let me in or not?” she argued

The former councilor and local journalist maintains that there are ongoing court cases in Davao regarding her sudden removal in May. She claims that a judicial ruling in her favor was announced on her official Facebook page on June 3, stating that her Motion for Reconsideration reversed the case against Magno.

However, a one-page show cause order dated June 4 from Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15, signed by Presiding Judge Mario Duaves, countered Acosta's claims. The order explained that her letter contained misleading information that could compromise the court's impartiality. DEF

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