‘Missing in action’ mayors during ‘Ompong’ should be dismissed — Roque

Published September 19, 2018, 3:47 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

The mayors who would be proven missing in action during the fury of typhoon Ompong should be dismissed from office if possible, a Palace official said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Malacañang on April 20, 2018. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said local chief executives must be in the forefront of the government services, including disaster response efforts, in their areas of jurisdictions, and should not be the first to hide from the typhoon.

“Tama lang po na kung pupuwede sibakin na iyang mga hindi nagpakita sa panahon ng bagyo [It is only right that if possible, those who were not present during the typhoon should be fired],” Roque said in a radio interview.

“Inaasahan natin iyong mga lokal na pamahalaan ang mangunguna sa kanilang mga constituents. Hindi naman po puwede sila ng unang-unang nagtatago, sila iyong unang nagbakasyon. Kaya po sila hinalal ng taong bayan para mag-provide ng liderato sa panahon ng pangangailangan [Local governments are expected to lead their constituents. They should not be the first to hide, first to go on vacation. They were elected by the people to provide leadership in times of need],” he added.

Roque issued the remarks after the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) initiated an inquiry into 10 municipal mayors in Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region on their alleged absence when typhoon Ompong battered their communities.

The names of the mayors have been withheld by the DILG pending an investigation. The absentee mayors could reportedly face suspension or dismissal from service if proven they were negligent or remiss of doing their duty.