By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has filed administrative charges against six mayors before the Office of the Ombudsman due to their failure to organize their Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs).
Facing the complaint for violation of Section 60 of R.A. 7160, or Misconduct of Office and Dereliction of Duty are Donsol, Sorsogon Mayor Josephine Cruz;
Bucloc, Abra Mayor Gybel Cardenas; Hingyon, Ifugao Mayor Geraldo Luglug; Claveria, Masbate Mayor Froilan Andueza; Mandaon, Masbate Mayor Kristine Hao-Kho; and Magallanes, Agusan del Norte Mayor Demosthenes Arabaca.
DILG Assistant Secretary for External and Legislative Affairs Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri headed the complaint since he is designated as the Outcome Officer for the anti-illegal drugs program.
He cited the May 21, 2018, joint memorandum issued by the DILG and the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB), which enjoined all local government units (LGUs) to activate, strengthen, and ensure the functionality of the local ADACs.
To ensure action, the DILG and DDB issued several regulations reminding local chief executives to organize these ADACs.
But as of December 2018, the abovementioned local officials failed to organize any functional ADAC.
“The failure of the respondent to create the local ADAC can be classified as misconduct in office or a dereliction of duty which is among the grounds for discipline, suspension or removal from office of a local official,” Echiverri said in the complaint.
“The respondent committed an administrative offense by his deliberate refusal to create the local ADAC. Had it been that the respondent intended to comply, he can easily [create] the local ADAC, but failed to do so,” he added.
Last year, the DILG also filed raps versus several barangay officials due to their failure to organize their Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs).
Just like the local ADACs, the BADACs hope to aid the national government in monitoring and addressing the country-wide drug problem.