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‘Inadvertent error’: DILG withdraws show cause order issued to Mayor Isko Moreno

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MANILA—The Department of the Interior and Local Government has withdrawn a show cause order issued to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno over the Manila City government’s supposed failure to implement a memorandum in relation to the war on drugs.

In a memorandum issued Friday, DILG Undersecretary for External and Legislative Affairs Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri said the show cause order issued to Moreno was an “inadvertent re-issuance.”

Echiverri had issued a show cause order dated July 9, 2021, which first came to light Thursday night, asking Moreno to explain within 10 days why he should not be held administratively liable for failing to comply with Joint Memorandum Circular 2018-01 or the Implementing Guidelines on the Functionality and Effectiveness of Local Anti-Drug Abuse Councils. 

The show cause order was based on a 2018 performance audit.

But Moreno was not a Manila government official in 2018, having been elected mayor only in May 2019, replacing former Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Moreno instead served as undersecretary for Luzon Affairs of the Social Welfare and Development from May to October 2018.

In the August 6 memorandum which Echiverri himself furnished ABS-CBN News, the DILG official admitted the July 9, 2021 show cause order was an “inadvertent issuance.”

“By virtue of this error and the guidance of policies and procedures of the Department, we are hereby withdrawing the document in issue.”

Echiverri explained that the July 9, 2021 show cause order was actually the second show cause order issued to Moreno. 

The first one was in 2019 when Moreno was already city mayor of Manila but still based on the 2018 audit.

But Echiverri acknowledged “the 2018 Audit reflected the poor performance of the City Government of Manila under the previous City Mayor.”

The new memorandum, however, did not explain why both the 2019 and July 9, 2021 show cause orders did not take into account that Moreno was not even part of the Manila city government in 2018.

Responding to the show cause order, Moreno tweeted on Thursday night: “Wow Galing ha. Sunod sunod na! #AlamNaThis.” 

Moreno, who transferred to political alliance Aksyon Demokratiko on Thursday, is rumored that he will soon declare his intention to run for president in the 2022 national elections, but the party has yet to make a formal announcement.

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