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Purely gossip

  • DILG’s Abalos nixes Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s reported suspension order


INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, Jr. dismissed speculations on Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s looming suspension, during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s visit to Tagum City on Friday to distribute financial aid to farmers and fishermen affected by El Niño.

“As far as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is concerned, right now, there is no truth to that. It’s gossip,” said Abalos.

Abalos also expressed confusion about where former Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque got his information. 

He clarified that the DILG’s job is to enforce suspensions of local officials based on the order of the Office of the Ombudsman or provincial boards. As such, it cannot act on its own based on a whim or a grudge.

Baste addresses suspension rumors

Meanwhile, the Davao City chief executive downplayed rumors of his removal during a Barangay Serbisyo Publiko event held on Saturday, June 8, at Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School.

“While I’m here now because I don’t know, there are rumors that I’ll be removed, I’ll be suspended. For me, you just keep going, whatever happens, even I’ll disappear since the city is peaceful, so far. But it’s just gossip that we have to wait and it will come. Then you just keep going,” Duterte said.

“The important thing is that we are government people. Politics is chaos, the other ones fight and at the end of the day it’s up to them what their method is, I have mine too,” he added 

“To the plantilla [employees], just take care of yourself, just do your work, continue to serve the people because it is our obligation and we are paid by the people through the tax that’s why we have a living,” he further said.

This was the first time the mayor appeared after Roque first floated the idea of a suspension, which immediately spread like wildfire on social media.

Also present in the Serbisyo caravan were Councilor Tek Ocampo and officials of Barangays 34-D, 35-D, and 38-D.

City Information Office head Harvey Lanticse revealed they have no other information on the reported suspension order of Duterte and Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain Jr. other than what everyone already heard.

“As far as I know, wala mi information or any communication or document regarding a suspension of any official of the LGU as discussed on social media,” Lanticse said.

Last Friday, TIMES contacted Department of Interior Local Government (DILG) XI officer-in-charge Abdullah Matalam but declined to comment further since he was not privy to the issue.



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