MANILA, Philippines -- “Kalokohan. Nothing of that sort transpired. They better be careful in spreading lies,” Interior and Local Government Secretary and NDRRMC Vice Chair for Preparedness Manuel Roxas III said.
Roxas today debunked claims by the camp of Tacloban City Mayor Alfredo Romualdez that the local chief executive was asked to surrender his authority to the DILG while addressing concerns left behind by super typhoon Yolanda.
Fuming mad based on reports that he wanted Romualdez out of city hall, Roxas said there are at least ten witnesses who could prove that that there is no truth to what lawyer Alex Avisado said in major papers.
The DILG chief explained that from day one,Romualdez and the local leaders asked for an imposition of a curfew, that requires a local ordinance, in order to restore law and order against the reported widespread lootings.
“On day two after Yolanda’s exit, they asked the same from the President and got the same reply that an ordinance was needed. Nonetheless at their pleading, the PNP imposed a curfew on their representation that they will pass the said ordinance,” Roxas said.
“After four days of inability to pass the ordinance because the local council cannnot constitute a quorum, I asked them to write a letter so that the President has a basis for ordering said curfew,” he added.
According to Roxas, the primary topic discussed during the meeting with Romualdez and the local officials at the Tacloban City Hall was the imposition of curfew and a local businessman’s call for the imposition of local ‘martial law.”
“Walang naging usapan na takeover ng DILG o national government sa Tacloban City Hall. This is absolute nonsense and there was a roomful of people in the command center at the city who can attest to this,” he said.
“There are various laws that address the situation of an ineffective LGU official especially in emergencies. We never undermined them. Kaya lang, kung ‘pilay’ ang LGUs dahil biktima din sila, then we need to act,” Roxas said. “We bent over backwards to be sensitive and courteous and this is the response we get? Grabe talaga ang intrigahan.” #