Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said some mayors are involved in illegal mining and logging operations, both blamed for the destruction amid the recent typhoons.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, Año said some local government officials are directly and indirectly benefiting from these illegal activities.
“Merong mga instance na ganun, pero 'di naman lahat. Merong hindi naman siya kasabwat, pero alam niya,” he said when asked about mayors being linked to illegal mining and logging activities.
“Alam mo na, baka nagbibigay din ng pondo sa kampanya, sumusuporta sa kandidatura,” he added.
As he ordered a crackdown on these illegal activities, Año called on law enforcements and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to be strict even with local officials.
“Dapat paigtingin ito nationwide sa pangunguna dapat ng DENR supported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines at saka Philippine National Police,” Año sad.
“This time, dapat istrikto talaga tayo. Walang perso-personalidad dito, kahit politician ka,” he added.
Año advised concerned residents to be wise in voting local government officials and pick only those serious in performing public service.
“Dapat ang mga mamamayan natin, matuto din na ang iboboto natin ‘yung talagang siguradong seryoso, at walang bahid ng koneksyon sa anumang illegal,” he added.
Año ordered the crackdown after Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Marikina, Rizal and other parts of the country encountered widespread flooding amid the onslaught of recent typhoons.
Some government officials and agencies attributed the calamity to climate change, mining, and logging, among others. —KBK, GMA News