Caloocan village chairman faces raps, suspension over unauthorized resort operation

Published May 11, 2021, 3:42 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The chairman of Barangay 171, Bagumbong in Caloocan City is now in hot water after higher officials from the local government filed a motion for preventive suspension against him over the unauthorized operation of a resort in his village on Mother’s Day.

(Kapitan Romeo “Romy” Rivera / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Romeo Rivera is facing gross neglect or dereliction of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service complaints filed by city health officer Evelyn Cuevas and Business Permits and Licensing Office head Emmanuel Vergara for “failing to implement” the community quarantine guidelines.

This came after authorities discovered the operation of Gubat sa Ciudad Resort on Sunday in his area of jurisdiction.

Around 500 individuals, including senior citizens and minors, were also seen in the area and violated rules on social distancing, the complaint read.

In their motion, Cuevas and Vergara said they want Rivera to be held liable for administrative offenses they cited.

They also said they want the barangay chairman be suspended for at least 60 days pending investigation “given the gravity of the offense and the great probability that the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence.”

In filing the motion, the complainants said the “COVID-19 spreader event” that happened in the resort “now poses a real risk to the life and health of the general public.”

They added that Rivera “failed to detect or monitor the movement” of around 500 people in his area, which “could have been easily detected and monitored by the barangay.”

“The failure or refusal of respondent Rivera to fully and faithfully discharge his functions as Punong Barangay in the face of the open, flagrant and continuous violations of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) Omnibus Guidelines lead and/or contributed to the happening of the 09 May 2021 COVID-19 spreader event,” their complaint added.

READ MORE: Caloocan LGU readies raps vs Gubat sa Ciudad resort owner who turns out to be already dead