Cebu News

DILG opinion sought: Were government resources used in BARUG event?

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
DILG opinion sought: Were government resources used in BARUG event?
Supporters of suspended Mayor Michael Rama join the Independence Day convergence initiated by Barug Party at the Plaza Sugbo on June 12. Acting Mayor Raymond Garcia said he will seek the opinion of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the alleged use of government resources during the said event.

CEBU, Philippines — Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said they are seeking the legal opinion of the Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) first before they can question the alleged use of government resources during the BARUG-initiated Independence Day celebration.

Following the question of whether there were government resources utilized during the Independence Day celebration at the Plaza Sugbo grounds last June 12, Garcia said he already sent a letter to the Cebu City Legal Office, seeking their opinion.

“Nihatag na sila og opinion pero wala gihapon ko ma-satisfy ana so today I am writing a letter to DILG, para they can set parameters,” Garcia said in a press conference yesterday.

Garcia said that it is only fitting that it will be the DILG that will set the measures for him, suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, employees, and department heads to follow.

“So we will wait for the opinion… kay ang DILG man gud mao g’yud nay sumbanan, mao g’yud nay tuohan, them being the experts in that particular field, so huwaton nalang nato ang DILG,” said Garcia.

He added he is expecting that the said opinion will be released within this week as he requested.

It was reported that Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover revealed they are now trying to determine if government resources were used during the BARUG-initiated Independence Day Celebration.

Mayor Rama, now under a six-month preventive suspension, addressed his supporters during the celebration at the Plaza Sugbo grounds. Acting Mayor, Garcia didn’t attend the gathering due to a “prior engagement”. The suspended mayor is still head of the BARUG Team Rama.

A day after the event, Alcover said he talked with Garcia during his radio program where matters regarding the event were also discussed.

Quoting Garcia, Alcover said the gathering had a permit. But Alcover said the event has stirred confusion as there were two Independence Day celebrations that day as the city already had one earlier that morning.

Further recalling the conversation he had with Garcia, Alcover said the acting mayor also wants to check if there were any government vehicles used for the event.

“Kay kung naay mga government vehicles nga gigamit, that’s another story kay suspended gud ang mayor, so dili siya kagamit sa facility sa goberyno,” said Alcover.

Aside from this, Alcover said they received questions seeking clarification on the involvement of the city in the said BARUG-initiated gathering.

This is after text messages, allegedly from Ian Hassamal, head of the Department of General Services, were disseminated urging barangay tanods, and other supporters to gather for the said event.

“Please advise all personnel receiving honoraria sa city particularly sa ato tanods, lupons, BEO and garbage driver and loader to attend the June 12 Independence mass at Plaza Sugbo 5 pm as per instruction of Ian Hassamal,” Alcover read the said text message being circulated. — (FREEMAN)

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