Mayors who defy CQ face charges

March 19, 2020

Metro Manila (CNN) — The Interior Department issued a stern warning to Metro Manila officials who violate and challenge the national government’s guidelines on the enhanced community quarantine.

Interior Department spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said if local government officials defy the rules, such as non-observance of social distancing reminders, they will be slapped with gross negligence or insubordination charges.

“Nakikiusap kami sa mayors at barangay officials na huwag na sana tayo makarating sa punto na magsasampa pa ang DILG ng kaso,” he said during a Laging Handa briefing.

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to stop all forms of mass transit, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Tuesday ordered the limited mobilization of tricycles in the city to help bring health workers and patients with urgent needs to hospitals. On Wednesday, he once again appealed to the national government to give some consideration and relax transportation limitations for the sake of public health and safety. He said tricycles can only carry a maximum of two passengers.

But the Duterte administration is not willing to bend the rules for Pasig City.

Malaya said Sotto should explore other options, similar to what other LGUs are implementing, such as borrowing buses from private companies to ferry health workers. He even said that based on their monitoring, nonessential workers are availing of the tricycle service in the city in a time when travel should be prohibited.

“Ang hindi ko maintindihan, kung nagagawan ng paraan ng ibang LGU na makagawa ng sistema ng paghahatid ng health workers, bakit hindi magawa ng Pasig? Pasensya na po, Mayor, hindi po namin kayo pwede pagbigyan... If we give an exemption, it defeats the purpose of a quarantine,” he said.