THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday ordered three governors and two mayors to explain alleged violations of national quarantine policies.
Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya however said that the identities of these erring local officials cannot be revealed yet because they are still awaiting the chief executives’ written explanation.
“As part of procedural due process, we are asking them to explain. And if warranted, the DILG will file the necessary cases against them. Once we have done so, we can now release their names to the public because cases are now pending against them,” he added.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said that these local chief executives (LCEs) were given 48 hours to explain why no administrative cases should be filed against them for negligence, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Bayanihan Act.
Failure to do so will result to an automatic administrative case to be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The said officials may also face criminal charges from the National Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice.
Violations of subject LCEs include failure to prevent mass gatherings and strictly implement social distancing measures, and prohibiting the movement of all types of cargo through the borders of his LGU.
These LCEs were also told to explain refusing entry to OFWs that were issued health certifications by the DOH, prohibiting the operations of industries vital to food security, and barring essential personnel like health workers.
The DILG has already reprimanded several local government officials for violating the ECQ guidelines issued by the national government.
According to Secretary Eduardo Ano, the DILG will be hard on those who violate quarantine directives as he warned local officials to religiously follow orders to ensure unity, cohesion and order in the entire country while addressing the COVID-19 crisis.
He also said that more show cause orders will be issued against other LCEs in the next few days after the DILG has exhausted all avenues of dialogue with them.
“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 DILG continues to encourage the public to report negligent local government officials to the DILG Hotline 8888, 911 and the DILG-Public Assistance and Complaint Center at 02-8925-0343.