The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued show-cause orders (SCO) against three provincial governors and two mayors for violating the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines issued by the national government.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said his department would not “go easy” on violations of quarantine directives issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).”
“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,” Año said.
“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 added.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the erring officials would be named after submitting their replies and cases have been filed against them.
He said 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 Department of Health, 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.
The erring local chief executives were given 48 hours from receipt to submit a written explanation stating clearly why no administrative cases should be filed against them for negligence, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act.
Failure to do so will result in 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.
“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.
Earlier,four barangay officials from Quezon City and Caloocan City were recently issued SCOs for violation of physical distancing measures and the prohibition against mass gathering guidelines under the ECQ.