By Aaron Recuenco
Two local officials in Western Visayas are now being investigated for their alleged intervention in the implementation of the rules set by the national government on the movement of cargoes in the region.
Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, director of the Western Visayas regional police, said he had already reported the violations to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año who earlier warned local officials against implementing rules relating to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) that are not in line with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
He identified them as Roxas City, Capiz Mayor Ronnie Dadivas and Iloilo Provincial Board Member Marcelo Serag.
Based on the report of Pamuspusan, Dadivas reportedly did not allow entry of basic commodities in Roxas City and despite repeated warnings from the local police commanders and the regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the local chief executive allegedly did not heed the directive.
Serag, on the other hand, allegedly shouted at and insulted the chief of police of San Joaquin town for pulling out the barricade set up in the municipality.
Serag was reportedly quoted telling Police Lt. Randy Lambungan: “You have no directives to pull out the barricade at the checkpoint! You are not asking permission! You are taking things literally! You are a stupid kind of police! You are not observing the executive order of the Mayor! You are always depending on your PD (Provincial Director)! Get out of San Joaquin!”
Pamuspusan said what Serag said was heard by some of the personnel of the San Joaquin Municipal Station after the conversation via the phone was put on a loud speaker mode by Lambungan.
“The incident was followed by the pulling out of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) and the Municipal Health Office (MHO) manning the Quarantine Control Point without any justification bringing along with them the thermal scanners and other equipment,” said Pamuspusan.
Pamuspusan explained that what Serag did against Lambungan was clear display of misconduct and conduct unbecoming on the part of an elected official.