Mayors ‘missing in action’ during ‘Ompong’ would be given due process — Palace

Published September 20, 2018, 4:38 PM

by iManila Developer

By Genalyn Kabiling

The mayors accused of allegedly being missing in action during the onslaught of typhoon Ompong would be given due process, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the local chief executives would be given a chance to air their side during the government investigation.

“Binigyan po sila ng panahon na sumagot. I’m not sure if it’s five or 10 days, pero isang araw pa lang po ang nakakalipas [They have been given time to respond. I’m not sure if it’s five or 10 days but only a day has passed],” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

“So they are being accorded their right to due process and decision to be made shortly thereafter,” he added.

Roque said local government officials should be slapped with the heaviest penalty if found liable for neglect of duty during the typhoon last weekend.

The Palace official earlier expressed support for the dismissal of the mayors who will be proven missing in action when the typhoon hit their communities. He said local officials must be in the forefront of government services, including disaster response efforts, in their areas of jurisdictions, and should not be the first to hide from the typhoon.

“Sang-ayon po tayo na dapat patawan ng pinakamabigat na parusa iyong mga mayor na missing in action sa panahon na pinaka-kinakailangan sila ng ating mga kababayan [I agree that the mayors missing in action during the time they were needed the most by their constituents should be meted with the heaviest punishment],” Roque said.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said it was looking into reports about the absentee 10 municipal mayors in Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region when typhoon Ompong dumped heavy rains in their towns. Under the DILG protocols, local chief executives are required to implement disaster preparedness measures.

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.