Press Release
October 4, 2006

Transcript of interview with Sen. Franklin M. Drilon (DILG budget)

Q: If it is illegal to use government resources, including time, funds, you don't see any reason why the DILG chief cannot charge these officials?

SFMD: I do not see any reason why the local government secretary cannot charge these local officials who would obviously use government time for this chacha advocacy and possibly, government resources. He himself has stated that it is illegal to use government resources, both funds and time, for this kind of advocacy. Therefore, as it is clear that a number of prominent faces among local government units have come out openly in support of the chacha, spending at the very least, government time, if not funds, then they should be investigated. I urge DILG to investigate. Kung ayaw po ni Secretary Puno, dapat ang Ombudsman, umpisahan ang imbestigasyon tungkol dito dahil ang opinyon ng Secretary of DILG ay illegal itong ginagawa ng local government officials.

Q: Secretary Puno's position before was actually on the other side

SFMD: He was saying that on official functions and official programs, government resources may be used but when I confronted him with the chacha, which is obviously an approved official program of the ULAP, he backtracked and said, it is illegal. Since in his view, the government resources cannot be used for chacha, then, he should file administrative cases against these officials, if not criminal cases.

Q: But he said, hindi daw ang office nila, it has to be the Chief Executive

SFMD: Then he should recommend to the President. But this has to be investigated if they are true to their oath that we will uphold the rule of law. Secretary Puno should recommend to the President the investigation of these officials. It should be emphasized that the President, under the Local Government Code, has no power to remove local government officials. Walang kapangyarihan ang Pangulo para tanggalin ang sinumang nahalal na local government official. Mayroon lang siyang kapangyarihang mag-preventively suspend. At sang-ayon doon sa mga desisyon ng Korte Suprema, lalo na doon sa kaso ng Ganzon vs. Santos, hindi mo puwedeng ipagdugtong-dugtong iyong suspensyon para iyong buong term ng isang alkalde o gobernador o konsehal ay mauubos sa preventive suspension. Because that in effect, is a removal from office. And even the right to suspend as a penalty is only implied from the provisions of the Local Government Code. At the very least, Secretary Puno agrees that the President cannot remove local government officials elected by the people. It is only the courts by explicit provision of the Local Government Code. This is consistent with the Constitution, where the President only has supervisory powers over the elected government officials and not the power of control. She has no power to dismiss. (end)

News Latest News Feed