MANILA, Philippines – Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri has to vacate his post immediately, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo said Tuesday.
Robredo said the department is just abiding by the law in executing the 6-month preventive suspension order of the Office of the Ombudsman for Echiverri and other officials.
He said the department will implement the order within 5 days even if it means they will have to physically carry Echiverri out of the mayor's office.
"Tayo po dito ay rule of law, batas ang masusunod. Although he will be given the opportunity to file sa Court of Appeals," Robredo said.
"So ako po kung anong kailangan gawin, yun po ang gagawin," he added.
Echiverri, along with City Treasurer Evelina Garma, and City Budget Officer Jesusa Garcia, were given preventive suspension orders for allegedly failing to remit the employees' Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions of more than P343 million.
Upon imposition of the suspension order, Echiverri will be replaced by incumbent Vice-Mayor Egay Erice, who posted the complaint against the mayor, while the first councilor will act as the city’s vice-mayor.
In a press conference held Tuesday, a defiant Echiverri said he will not be leaving his post anytime despite the order.
He said the issue on remittances has already been discussed no less with GSIS officials, and that Erice is “desperate to gain power.” - Report from Nina Corpuz, ABS-CBN News