Tuguegarao Mayor Soriano explains absence during typhoon

Published November 21, 2020, 3:21 PM

by Chito Chavez

The Department of Interior and Local Government said Saturday that beleaguered Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano has submitted his explanation regarding his absence in his area during the onslaught of typhoon “Ulysses.’’

In an interview, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed Soriano’s submission of his explanation last Nov. 16 and added that “his legal service is assessing his reasons.”

He stressed: “I will wait for its (legal service) its recommendation’’ before deciding if charges will be filed against Soriano.

“We will see kung ano findings ng legal (service) at may appropriate sanctions naman ‘yan (what the findings of the legal service are and there are appropriate sanctions for them),’’ Año said.

Año said that the sanctions may range from admonition up to suspension.

After being widely criticized for his absence in his area during the typhoon, Soriano issued an apology.

He claimed to have attempted to return to his turf during the typhoon as soon as possible but the North Luzon Expressway in Bocaue, Bulacan was impassable at that time.

In a previous interview, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Soriano may face charges for violation of the DILG’s “Oplan: Listo” (awareness) protocols if his reasons are unjustified.

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 the DILG’s Oplan: Listo strictly compels the local chief executives to have preparedness action plans in dealing with disasters.

He added that this will ensure the immediate and appropriate government response with the aim of having minimal or if possible zero casualties.