Malacañang backs probe of 10 mayors over absence during ‘Ompong’

By Azer Parrocha

September 19, 2018, 5:47 pm

MANILA -- Malacañang on Wednesday supported the move of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate reports that at least 10 municipal mayors in Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were absent during the onslaught of Typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut).

Tama lang po na kung pupuwede sibakin na iyang mga hindi nagpakita sa panahon ng bagyo ‘no (It is only right that we fire officials who were not present during the onslaught of the typhoon),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque explained that local chief executives (LCEs) should be at the forefront of disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts because it is their duty to serve their constituents.

He further said it was unacceptable for LCEs, chairpersons of their respective local disaster risk reduction and management office (LDRRMO), to be either hiding or going on vacation.

Hindi naman po puwede sila ang unang-unang nagtatago, sila iyong unang nagbakasyon. Kaya po sila hinalal ng taong bayan para mag-provide ng liderato sa panahon ng pangangailangan (It is unacceptable that they are the first to hide or go on vacation. That’s why there were elected by the people -- to provide leadership in their time of need),” Roque said.

The DILG earlier said the LCEs may be sanctioned with administrative cases for being liable for absenteeism and negligence of duty.

DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya earlier said his agency will not disclose the names of the municipal mayors at the moment since their performances are still being reviewed.

He said mayors proven guilty of negligence will have to explain in writing why no disciplinary action shall be taken against them.

As mandated by the Local Government Code, all LCEs are mandated to be physically present in their respective LGUs before, during, and after disasters and calamities. (PNA)