By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan on Sunday filed multiple administrative charges against several Barangay 129 officials who were allegedly involved in staging an illegal cockfighting match at a cemetery in Manila.
Barangay chairman Brix John Rolly Reyes and barangay kagawads Alfie Lacson, Romualdo Reyes, and John Cris Domingo are facing charges of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty or dereliction of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The Caloocan City mayor also sought the preventive suspension of the barangay officials pending the investigation of the complaint.
On Saturday, Malapitan and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso called for the immediate surrender of the suspects, who were caught engaging in an illegal cockfighting match with dozens of men at the Manila North Cemetery on Good Friday.
The barangay officials later surrendered to Malapitan. They were then turned over to the Manila Police District (MPD).
In his complaint, Malapitan said that not only did the suspects abandon their posts and fail to remain in their area of jurisdiction, they also failed to implement social distancing and enhanced community quarantine guidelines and violated the ban on mass gatherings.
Earlier, the local chief executive said he will not spare public officials who were found to be violating any law.
“Hindi palalagpasin ng inyong lokal na pamahalaan ang sinuman sa mga opisyal na napatunayang lumabag sa batas, lalong lalo na kung siya ay may sinumpaang tungkuling maging tapat sa taong bayan, lalong lalo na sa oras ng kagipitan o sakuna,” the city mayor said in a statement.
(The city government will not let any official proven to be a violator of the law off the hook, particularly since they have a sworn duty to be honest to the public, especially in times of adversity.)