MANILA, Philippines – Why blame Mayor Isko Moreno for Manila's shortcomings in the anti-drug campaign before his term?
Moreno's chief of staff Cesar Chavez directed this question to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), after the agency announced that the current administration of Manila would receive a show cause order for the poor performance of the city's anti-drug abuse council (ADAC).
Manila's ADAC got a low functionality score based on an audit for 2018, when Joseph "Erap" Estrada was still the mayor. The Manila ADAC was scored low in terms of conduct of meetings, implementation of plans and programs, and support to component ADACs.
DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri has said that while Moreno is not to blame for the ADAC's poor performance, he still has to answer for it since the Manila ADAC is in need of improvement.
Chavez refuted DILG's claim that the anti-drug campaign under Moreno was still performing poorly, pointing out that the number of drug-cleared barangays had increased during Moreno's term.
Photo from Cesar Chavez
Chavez also questioned why Estrada wasn't issued a show cause order during his time.
Echiverri said that cases are filed not against persons but against institutions. He said Estrada's administration obtained a moderate score of 65.5 based on the 2017 audit.
The undersecretary told Rappler that Moreno may respond to the show cause order by saying the poor performance did not happen under his watch.
This is not the first time that the DILG called out a local chief executive for falling short in the operations of their anti-drug abuse councils. In March, the department filed cases against 45 mayors for failing to establish ADACs. – Rappler.com
Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.