Caloocan barangay chairman suspended over resort's unauthorized operation

The chairman of Barangay 171 in Caloocan City has been suspended for 60 days following the unauthorized operation of a resort in his village, which also led to violation of health measures against COVID-19.

Romeo Rivera, who is facing administrative charges for gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the services, is ordered suspended by the city council pending investigation of his case.

The charges against him came after the Gubat sa Ciudad, a resort located in his area of jurisdiction, was found operating on Mother’s Day, May 9, despite threats of COVID-19.

Around 500 guests were also caught in the area, most of whom were swimming without personal protective equipment and violating social distancing guidelines.

In ordering Rivera's suspension, the city council's Committee on Good Government and Justice cited the Local Government Code of 1991, which provides that "preventive suspension may be imposed at any time after the issues are joined, when the evidence of guilt is strong, and given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that the continue in office of the respondent could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence."

“There is a need to protect the integrity of the documents relative to these cases on which the evidence of the parties and the findings of this body will significantly and materially rely upon,” the order, made under Resolution No. 11-551 Series of 2021, read.