The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will take stern disciplinary measures against Guimbal, Iloilo Mayor Oscar Garin for mauling a Guimbal town police officer on Wednesday.
“What the congressman and the mayor did was abuse of authority and display of arrogance; a conduct unbecoming of men in authority and well-deserving of punishment. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior and will order the removal of Mayor Garin’s deputation authority over the Guimbal police once the investigation results are out,” says DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
According to Año, appropriate criminal and administrative cases will be filed against the Garins in the Office of the Ombudsman or the courts as soon as as the investigations are concluded.
“The President himself was so disappointed and I will ensure that his order to file cases against the Garins will be complied with immediately,” he says.
Mayor Garin on Wednesday morning reportedly held PO3 Frederico Macaya at gun-point while his son Iloilo Representative Oscar “Richard” Garin, Jr. reportedly handcuffed, mauled, spat at and slapped Macaya at the Guimbal Public Plaza.
The DILG Chief says the incident is a clear ground for the withdrawal of Mayor Garin's authority over the local Philippine National Police (PNP) unit.
According to Section 61 of the Local Government Code of 1991, administrative charges may also be filed against Mayor Garin at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for abuse of authority, oppression, and misconduct in office.
“We will make sure that justice will be served and will run after local chief executives who abuse their authority,” says Año.
In the case of Representative Garin, Año says that they will also recommend to the House of Representatives to impose sanctions on him.
Meanwhile, Western Visayas Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao has requested the National Police Commission to remove Mayor Garin of police authority over the local PNP.
The politicians’ police escorts were also immediately recalled after Bulalacao learned of the incident.
Bulalacao likewise said that they will also file criminal charges for grave threat against Mayor Garin while charges for physical injuries, alarm and scandal, direct assault against an agent of person in authority and grave coercion will be filed against Congressman Garin.
Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes anyone charged with direct assault against a person in authority or any of his agents with prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not less than P1,000.
Prision Correccional suspends the official from public office for six months to six years and prohibits him from practicing a profession or calling.