Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday that sanctions against Tuguegarao City mayor Jefferson Soriano who was “missing in action’’ in his area during the onslaught of typhoon “Ulysses’’ will be imposed only after the assessment of his official explanation.
As of yesterday morning, Año confirmed that Soriano has yet to submit his official explanation to the DILG on his absence during the typhoon.
Año maintained that the DILG will have to first assess Soriano’s reason for his absence during the typhoon before coming up with the decision.
Soriano later issued an apology for being a “no-show” in his hometown during the weather disturbance.
The Tuguegarao City mayor had earlier claimed to have attempted to return to his turf during the typhoon as soon as possible but the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Bocaue, Bulacan area was impassable at that time.
Año said local chief executives (LCE) should be present in their respective jurisdictions during calamities to avoid sanctions.
In a previous interview, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Soriano stands to face charges for violation of the DILG’s “Oplan Listo” (awareness) protocols if his reasons are not valid.
Malaya also explained that the Office of the Ombudsman has the authority to impose disciplinary actions against the local government units (LGUs) with the DILG merely filing the charges.
Año noted that it is strictly specified under “Oplan Listo” compelling the LCE to have preparedness action plans in dealing with disasters.
This will ensure immediate and appropriate government response with the aim of having minimal or if possible, zero casualties.