Taguig City clearing operations
This photo taken by the Taguig PIO shows a clearing operations team dismantling a stall obstructing a road. Taguig City is the only city in Metro Manila who did not receive a medium or high compliance rating, according to the DILG's assessment and validation ratings list dated Oct. 8, 2019.
Taguig PIO/Released
DILG sues Abra, Samar mayors over failed road clearing ops
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - February 28, 2020 - 11:53am

MANILA, Philippines — Two municipal mayors in Abra and Samar are the latest local chief executives facing administrative charges at the Office of the Ombudsman for failing to follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s road clearing directive.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government assessed LGU compliance with nationwide operations to eliminate road obstructions and reclaim space for the public.

“We meant it when we said that cases will be filed against negligent local execs. Unless local chief executives get their acts together and take the President’s instructions to clear roads seriously, they will be held accountable and face charges," Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a Friday release.

The DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued in July gave LGU chief-executives a 60-day compliance period to clear public roads used for commercial reasons or blocked by illegal structures and construction.

The memorandum was prompted by Duterte, who in his fourth State of the Nation Address, made the directive. It was issued a week after the SONA.

The mayors of Boliney in Abra and Motiong in Samar were charged for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.

The municipality of Boliney failed to present an inventory of provincial, municipal and barangay roads in the area. Additionally, an identified provincial road was obstructed by extended canopies.

Meanwhile, nine roads in Motiong were blocked with illegally parked vehicles, barangay structures, store encroachments, shanties, garbage dumps, canal obstructions, plants and construction materials.

“The Municipalities of Motiong and Boliney obtained a total score of not more than 50 points in the indicators set by the DILG. Such score translated to their glaring failure to follow the rule of law that public streets are for public use,” Año said.

This marks the second batch of cases filed before the Ombudsman's office, following the initial 10 chief executives charged in early January.

These involved the mayors of Baco in Oriental Mindoro, Pili in Camarines Sur, Ginatilan in Cebu, Pagsanghan in Samar, Aurora and Lapuyan in Zambaonga Del Sur, Sagay and Guinsiliban in Camuigin, Manticao in Misamis Oriental and Caraga in Davao Oriental.

“These first batch of mayors failed to perform their duty to clear their roads of obstructions, they did not develop or implement any displacement program or plan, they do not have any long-term rehabilitation and sustainability plan in place, and they failed to set up a feedback or grievance mechanism for their constituents; hence, we are compelled to seek their suspension from office,” the DILG chief said.

RELATED: 10 mayors face raps for failing to clear roads

In October 2019, the Interior department issued show-cause orders to 97 LGUs seeking an explanation for their non-compliance to the road clearing directive based on assessment and validation.

RELATED: 97 mayors face raps over road clearing operations

Last week, the DILG set a new 75-day deadline for local chief executives to clear roads across the country.

"I direct all LGUs, especially barangays, to clear roads from obstruction with the same urgency and enthusiasm as when the president directed before," Año said.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-027, all LGUs are ordered to remove obstructions in all provincial, city, municipal and barangay roads, and national primary and secondary roads.

RELATED: DILG sets 75-day deadline in new round of road-clearing operations

— With reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico

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