Palace warns local execs as ‘Rosita’ threatens Luzon

MANILA — Malacañang on Monday said local government officials particularly mayors can be charged with neglect of duty if they cannot be found when Typhoon Rosita makes a landfall in Northern Luzon on Tuesday.

“They will be accountable for neglect of duty,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

Last month, at least 10 mayors from the regions of Cagayan Valley and Cordillera cannot be found when their respective areas were ravaged by Typhoon Ompong.

Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has made a directive to investigate the missing local government executives.

“As far as I know, merong directive si Presidente roon na imbestigahan (the President has directive to investigate) and then file the necessary administrative charges against them,” Panelo said.

Like what he did during Typhoon Ompong, Panelo said Duterte will monitor Rosita and will send Cabinet secretaries “if necessary” in the areas to be hit by typhoon.

Meanwhile, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson and director for operations Edgar Posadas said Duterte is very much in touch with NDRRMC.

“In fact, we report to him regularly, through (NDRRMC Administrator) Usec. (Ricardo) Jalad and the chair of the Council, (Defense} Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana,” he said.

Posadas said the NDRRMC is now on red alert and has been directed by Duterte “to be there for the people to provide effective, relevant and timely response”.

He said all the concerned government agencies have prepositioned necessary relief and other assistance to areas expected to be affected by Rosita.

Posadas said Duterte’s directive to bring the national government’s relief goods directly to the affected people has been discussed during Sunday’s meeting.

“I think, if I heard them right, they are going to that direction because it is the guidance of our President,” he said.

He said protocols are being prepared on how to implement the President’s directive.

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