Duterte: Criminal cases ‘not far behind’ for local officials who refuse to comply with guidelines


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — President Rodrigo Duterte warned local government officials of criminal charges if they refuse to abide by the enhanced community quarantine guidelines set by the national government.

Duterte addressed local officials Friday after his meeting with the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), urging them to comply with the directives laid by the task force in implementing the quarantine in the entire Luzon, saying that those who refuse to do so will face administrative cases, or even criminal charges.

“If you go beyond the standards that we have set, you are abusing your authority and you know that this can lead to administrative cases, or even worse, unless you stop what you’re doing… criminal cases cannot be far behind,” he said.

Despite Duterte not mentioning names of any official or LGU, the Interior Department has earlier issued a warning to Metro Manila mayors who violate and challenge the said directives.

Interior Department spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Thursday that if local government officials defy the rules, such as non-observance of social distancing reminders, they will be slapped with gross negligence or insubordination charges.

READ: DILG warns of charges vs. mayors who defy community quarantine rules

Duterte echoed this by stressing that he is directing the DILG and the Department of Justice to “closely monitor the compliance of LGUs in the directives of the Office and to file the necessary cases against the wayward officials.”

“Sundin nalang natin dahil para naman ito sa lahat [Let us obey because this is for everyone’s benefit]. Do not try to overdo things or think that you can do what you want to do because that is not allowed,” Duterte said in his address.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has ordered the limited mobilization of tricycles in the city to bring health workers and patients with immediate medical needs to hospitals. He also appealed to the national government to allow the use of tricycles for public health and safety, since a maximum of only two passengers are allowed in the vehicle.

Source : CNN Philippines


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