The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said show cause orders have been issued against three governors and two mayors for supposedly violating the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine.
"As directed by the President himself, we will not go easy on local government officials who will violate the prescribed directives during the ECQ, that’s the mandate of the DILG – local government supervision," DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a press statement.
"Therefore, we have no choice but to issue show cause orders and file the necessary charges against them, when necessary, kagaya ng ginawa natin sa ilang barangay official na lumabag din sa quarantine policies,” he added.
Año said the local government officials, whom he did not identify, were given 48 hours to explain why administrative charges should not be filed against them for their alleged negligence and dereliction of duty as well as supposed violation of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
“Kagaya ng ating ginagawa sa mga pagkakataong tulad nito, we are giving them due process to explain and defend themselves because they enjoy the presumption of regularity in the exercise of official functions unless overturned by sufficient evidence,” he said.
According to DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the violations of these local chief executives include "violation of the prohibition against mass gatherings, failure to strictly implement social distancing measures, prohibiting the movement of all types of cargo through the borders of his LGU, refusing entry to OFWs that were issued health certifications by the DOH, prohibiting the operations of industries vital to the food security of our country, and prohibiting the entry of essential personnel like health workers into his LGU, among others."
Año said these officials could also face criminal charges before the National Bureau of Investigation.
The DILG chief warned that more show cause orders will be issued against local chief executives in the coming days after the agency already exhausted all avenues of dialogue with the LGUs.
“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,” Año said.
On Tuesday, the DILG issued show cause orders against some barangay officials in Metro Manila as they allegedly allowed outdoor activities such as parade and cockfighting in their areas despite the prohibition of any forms of mass gathering to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño, total lockdown must be imposed in areas where residents continue to violate quarantine guidelines. --KBK, GMA News