By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned erring barangay officials of strict sanctions if they continue to defy national and local laws especially obstructions on road right-of-ways.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya had earlier enjoined the public to report to the DILG or to their respective local government units (LGU) any unlawful activities in their respective barangays.
Aside from the fight against illegal drugs, the DILG has trained its focus on other unlawful acts committed by barangay officials like the presence of sidewalk vendors and illegally parked vehicles on no-parking zones.
To recall, DILG Undersecretary Martin Dino said that his office has received 50 to 100 complaints against barangay officials supposedly guilty of various violations.
He noted that it is most likely a sign of corrupt act if the barangay chairman allows the existence of illegal vendors and any form of obstruction in public places.
With this unlawful practice, Dino said “that it is no surprise’’ that barangay chairmen who used to live in rundown rented apartments are now staying in luxurious residences several years after being elected to their posts.
Malaya said that the DILG welcomes complaints of road-right-of-way obstructions adding that it will be of help if photos and videos are included in the complaint.
Once the complaint is received, the DILG will summon the barangay chairman of the concerned community to explain his side on why no sanctions should be meted against him.
If the said barangay chairman continues to defy the no-parking and no illegal vendor law, the DILG will recommend to the city or municipal council for the suspension of the concerned official.
However, Dino assured the barangay officials the department will conduct a thorough investigation on the complaint as the DILG always adheres to rule on due process.
Eventually, the city or municipal councils will decide whether to suspend or eventually expel the concerned barangay official for habitual defiance of the no-parking and drive against illegal vendors.