The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday filed administrative cases against Roberto “Jimmy” Luna Jr., mayor of Lingig, Surigao del Sur, who is included in the so-called narco-list of President Duterte.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the filing of administrative complaints against Luna and 45 other incumbent politicians included in the so-called “narcolist” of the government before the Office of the Ombudsman was made on the order of Duterte.
The administrative complaints against Luna, who is running for reelection, include grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and gross neglect of duty.
Luna is the lone politician from Caraga included in the list. He has yet to issue a statement after Duterte released the narcolist.
The mayor is no stranger to controversy and scandal, though.
In 2017, the Ombudsman dismissed him from public service for approving the alleged unlawful purchase of “ghost” communication equipment from Philflex Trading and General Merchandise in 2007 worth close to P19 million.
In 2007, Luna was abducted by New People’s Army rebels, who accused him of masterminding several killings, including the death of Mayor Amerosin Onsing in 2001, and of committing crimes against the communist movement. He was later released.
In 2010, while serving his last term and was seeking the vice mayoral post, he was again snatched by the NPA and accused of land-grabbing, graft and corruption, and for being a “warlord” loyal to then President Macapagal-Arroyo in Caraga. Days later, he was freed.
According to Año, the alleged involvement of the officials in illegal drugs was “evaluated and judiciously validated” by the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) headed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
“The DILG’s involvement in the ICAD is impelled by its statutory role as general supervisor of local government units (LGUs) and their officials to ensure that they are performing their duties and functions under the law,” Año said in a statement.
The filing of charges, Año also said would only show ICAD’s confidence that it had a strong case against the politicians listed in the narcolist—35 mayors, seven vice mayors, a provincial board member, and three members of the House of Representatives .
“With the filing of cases with the Ombudsman, those in the initial narcolist that was released by the President will now have an opportunity to refute or rebut the allegations against them,” Año said. By CLC