51 mayors sued over unorganized, low performing drug councils

51 mayors sued over unorganized, low performing drug councils

MANILA — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday filed administrative cases against 51 mayors over their failure to create anti-drug abuse councils (ADAC).

Filed ahead of the May elections, DILG Assistant Secretary Ricojudge Echiverri expects this move to influence other towns in “taking seriously” the organization and strengthening of ADACs in their respective areas.

In an interview, he underscored the importance of setting up an ADAC in every community, saying it signifies commitment and collective action to eliminate the problem of illegal drugs.

The official filed at the Office of the Ombudsman administrative charges of misconduct and dereliction of duty against the mayors.

The agency pointed out in the complaint that “the failure of the respondent to create the local ADAC can be classified as a misconduct in office or a dereliction of duty which is among the grounds for discipline, suspension, or removal from office of a local official.”

In a list of sent to the Philippine News Agency, Echiverri said nine respondents from municipalities with low functioning anti-drugs council are on the narco-list.

The DILG filed the complaint against the mayors of the following:

Non-compliant:
1. Province of Tawi-tawi
2. Lacub, Abra
3. Burdeos, Quezon
4. San Narciso, Quezon
5. Sariaya, Quezon
6. Lopez, Quezon
7. Perez, Quezon
8. Rizal, Palawan
9. Kalayaan, Palawan
10. Taytay, Palawan
11. Quezon, Palawan
12. Tagkawayan, Quezon
13. City of Toledo, Cebu
14. San Francisco, Cebu
15. Irosin, Sorsogon
16. Santa Magdalena, Sorsogon
17. Magallanes , Sorsogon
18. Langiden, Abra
19. Lagangilang, Abra
20. San Isidro, Northern Samar
21. Las Navas, Northen Samar
22. City of Borongan, Eastern Samar
23. Malabang, Lanao del Sur
24. Kapai, Lanao del Sur
25. Manabo, Abra
26. Pidigan, Abra
27. Licuan-Baay, Abra
28 Tagaloan II, Lanao del Sur
29. Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur
30. Marogong, Lanao del Sur
31. Poona Bayabao, Lanao del Sur
32. Marantao, Lanao del Sur
33. Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya
34. Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya
35. Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya
36. Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya
37. Aritao , Nueva Vizcaya
38. Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Vizcaya
39. Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya
40. Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya
41. Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya
42. Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya

Low functionality:
1. Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan
2. Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat
3. Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao 
4. Ampatuan, Maguindanao
5. Maguing, Lanao del Sur
6. Lasam, Cagayan
7. San Fernando, Cebu
8. Bay, Laguna
9. Camiling, Tarlac

The official explained that a local government unit could be classified with low functionality ADAC if there is no allocation of resources for the council or the heads failed to establish a community-based rehabilitation center.

Meanwhile, the non-compliant ones are the local government units that scored zero in the agency’s performance ratings.

In an interview earlier, Echiverri enjoined the LGUs to organize their ADAC as mandated by the law.

“We will leave it to the Ombudsman to decide on the punishment, the lightest is reprimand, one is suspension, or the worst — removal,” he said.

The first batch of the complaints was filed against 20 mayors on March 14 while the second batch against another 25 was lodged on March 20.
Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA – northboundasia.com