Local officials charged for ECQ violations

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday it has filed before the Office of the Ombudsman separate administrative cases against three local officials for violation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols as imposed by the national government. 

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año
(Photo from Philippine Information Agency / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that a mayor and councilor in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan are facing charges for holding a birthday party celebration amid the implementation of quarantine.  

A case against the mayor of Buluan, Maguindanao was also referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for failure to prohibit mass gatherings in his municipality.

Año did not name the said officials in his statement.

In a May 14, 2020 Rappler article, Sto. Tomas Mayor Timoteo Villar III was referred to as the local officials who celebrated his birthday on May 6.

Among those who attended the party as mentioned in the article were the mayor’s son Councilor Dickerson Villar and former Sto. Tomas police chief Captain Peter Paul Sison who was later relieved from his post due to the incident.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page identified the mayor from Buluan, Maguindanao, as Mayor Babydats Mangudadatu.

The DILG said it did not receive a reply to the show cause order it issued to the town mayor and as such they now consider him as “having waived his right to reply.’’

Año also noted that the DILG sent a letter of admonition and warning to a city mayor from Central Luzon for holding a mass gathering while distributing Social Amelioration Program (SAP) forms. 

He added the recipients were immediately dispersed to avoid any violation.

Año noted the city government later on committed to adopt corrective measures to avoid similar incidents.

The DILG chief said that a town mayor from Western Visayas was also admonished for refusing to allow an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) to be quarantined within the municipality because the seaman was said to have come from an "infected country” despite obtaining the necessary clearances from appropriate agencies.

“The DILG said this is "in violation of the President’s directive to welcome all OFWs subject to local health protocols."

An admonition was also issued to a town mayor from Ilocos Region for unruly behavior towards police officers assigned at a checkpoint. 

"He was also allegedly intoxicated when it happened,’’ said Año.

Moreover, the DILG is further validating the case against a mayor in Cavite and a mayor in Batangas both for allowing mass gathering. 

The former is alleged to have held a flag-raising ceremony during lockdown, while the latter is reported to have distributed relief goods at a barangay hall disregarding social distancing protocols.