Labella orders probe on rice distribution in Inayawan
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered the Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) to investigate the alleged rice distribution in Barangay Inayawan which has caught online attention.
In a phone conference, Labella said that he had given the particular instruction that the rice distribution would be delegated to the barangay chiefs and other duly elected officials in their barangays.
The Mayor’s Information and Liaison Office (MILO) has not been delegated this task. It can be noted that Labella, himself, established this office.
“Let us be reminded that the ordinance stipulates that the distribution should be done by barangay officials, not by MILO, but barangay officials,” said the mayor.
He said that elected officials or not, government workers distributing aid to the residents must follow the basic enhanced community quarantine guidelines of social distancing.
Public gatherings as seen in the circulating photos online are violations of the ECQ guidelines and the organizers can be held liable.
“So we have to look into that. We will bring them to the bar of justice regardless of who did that if it was the barangay official, and if there are MILO involved, so be it,” said Labella.
Still, the mayor said it was most prudent to hold an investigation, especially that many of the barangay captains not belonging to his party, Barug-PDP Laban had been “uncooperative” in the past months.
Since Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo is from the opposing party, Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan, the mayor said he would carefully see if the complaint was not tinted with political interest.
He said that some barangay chiefs from the opposition had been difficult to work with.
For this case, however, Labella said that the rice distribution should be coursed through the barangay chief and not the MILO.
The mayor has delegated the investigation to the CLO to immediately respond to the issue./dbs
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