Mayor Fe Abunda of Borongan City, Eastern Samar (photo courtesy of Rappler)
Last March 27, 2019, Wednesday, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed administrative charges of misconduct and dereliction of duty against Mayor Fe Abunda and 50 other mayors for their failure to form and activate an Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC), a body which seeks to strengthen the community’s collective effort against the problems of illegal drugs. In an article published by the Philippine News Agency dated March 27, 2019, the City of Borongan, Eastern Samar was the 22nd LGU named as non-compliant. Notably, the mayor of Borongan is the sister of celebrity host Boy Abunda. She is also running for a congressional seat in the 2019 local elections in Eastern Samar.
Among the towns (22 municipalities and one city) of Eastern Samar, only Borongan – the province’s capital at that, failed to establish an Anti-Drug Abuse Council, which is a serious neglect of the strong directive from the DILG. An official may be penalized by discipline, suspension or removal from office if found guilty of the administrative charges of misconduct and dereliction of duty. So this begs the question. Why has the Mayor of Borongan deliberately side swept this order? What is it that she is so hesitant about and thus hindered her from forming an Anti-Drug Abuse Council?
Mayor Abunda should have not let a directive such as the creation of ADAC goes un-acted upon lest she be branded as a “protector” of those in substance abuse. Just a caveat.