Duterte vows to file charges vs underperforming barangay execs
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warned newly-elected barangay captains that he will audit their performance in fighting crime in their villages, and those who fail to meet his expectations will face charges.
"I will have an audit. And if you are not at par, I will file charges against you for incompetence," said Duterte on Tuesday, June 26, during the oath-taking of barangay officials in Zamboanga del Sur.
The President previously told barangay captains in another oath-taking ceremony that he would "suspend" or "dismiss" them if their barangays are found to be "drug-infested."
Since the barangay elections were held in May, Duterte has been going around the country giving keynote speeches at regional oath-taking ceremonies of barangay officials.
Months before, he had ordered Interior Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año to probe local government officials for corruption and links to illegal drug trafficking.
While he warned of the consequences of underperformance, he also repeated an earlier promise to protect barangay officials from lawsuits, as long as they followed the law in carrying out their crackdown on criminality. The President had given a similar promise to the police in his campaign against illegal drugs.
He also repeated that after consulting with his Cabinet, he may arm barangay captains who have done well in suppressing crime and drugs in their areas of jurisdiction.
Duterte ended his speech with general marching orders for the new local government chiefs.
"One, you protect the people of the Republic of the Philippines. Second, that we must preserve this nation. That is my job, your job, the job of everyone," he said. – Rappler.com