QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported on Friday (July 13) that 186 local officials have been stripped of supervisory powers over the police in their areas of jurisdiction since President Rodrigo Duterte came into office.
According to DILG Officer-In-Charge Eduardo Año, the said local officials have been deprived of police authority because of their involvement in illegal drug trade and failure to curb terrorist activities in their areas. From the said number, eight were governors while 178 were city and municipal mayors.
Meanwhile, ten local executives have been killed so far under the Duterte administration. Three of whom have established links in the illegal drug trade.
DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said that based on their investigation, the common reasons for crimes against local officials are politics, business, and a love triangle. Densing suspects that some criminals are taking advantage of the government’s war on drugs to divert public’s sentiments and attention.
“Parang may sumasakay na “Pagkakataon na natin itong patayin ang ating kalaban kasi may namatay doon para i-link doon.” Para kunwari base sa drugs. But for the information of everybody prior to the killing of Mayor Halili, of the 10 killings of the LCE that were killed in the past two years, tatlo lang po ang may koneksyon sa ilegal na droga,” Densing said.
To date, a total of 156 local officials have been suspended or dismissed for charges of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, neglect of duty, abuse of authority and other irregularities.
The DILG said this proves the effectiveness of the agency’s measures in line with President Duterte’s campaign against errant and corrupt public officials.
“By offering the public mechanisms to report complaints, such as the Hotline 8888 and the Office of the President itself, we were able to investigate and file cases against local officials alleged to be abusive or not performing their job in accordance with their mandate,” Año explained in a statement. – Bernard Dadis / Marje Pelayo