Manila, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) blamed Malacañang for the confusion surrounding the responsibilities and duties of the agency’s officials in the wake of the bloody August 23 standoff in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Manila where eight Hong Kong nationals and the hostage-taker were killed.
Philip Francisco Uytiepo Dy, newly designated spokesman of acting DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, said that Malacañang should have inquired who had direct control of the Philippine National Police (PNP) after the failed negotiation on the hostage-taking incident.
Robredo had earlier said that DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno has direct supervision over matters concerning the PNP while the DILG chief was tasked by President Aquino to have control over the affairs of the local government units.
However, Dy failed to clearly explain who among the DILG officials has the authority and what mandate the DILG has over the incident.
But Dy said the DILG has administrative supervision over the PNP and National Police Commission (Napolcom) while the PNP has direct supervision over operational matters like the hostage-taking incident.
“Linawin na lang nila sa kinauukulan yung ginawa nilang order sa function ng mga opisyal ng DILG kasi sumunod lamang kami kung ano ang nakasaad sa batas,” Dy said. (“They should make it clear to those concern what the function of the DILG officials are since the agency’s personnel are just following what is stated in the law.’’)
He stressed that the DILG is a collegial body where the secretary has no sole power over the agency, adding that there is no truth to allegations that there is a wedge between Robredo and Puno who are both serving one government office.
Chito Chavez, Manila Bulletin