The issue on Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto’s earlier decision to allow tricycles in the city to operate during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon has been resolved, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said while there had been miscommunication and exchange of views between the DILG and Sotto, he said Sotto already stopped the measure in compliance with the agency’s orders set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“The mayor of Pasig was already cooperative. No issue in so far as the DILG is concerned now,” Malaya said in a TV interview.
This came after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) summoned Sotto to respond to accusations of a possible violation of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
Malaya said the agency agrees with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s position that Sotto “can’t be prosecuted for violating the Bayanihan Act because the alleged offenses were committed prior to its effectivity into law”.
“It’s a useless political distraction because Mayor Vico has already cooperated with the DILG and he has banned the use of tricycles as public transportation in compliance with IATF guidelines and (DILG) Secretary (Eduardo) Año’s request. Therefore I see no reason for the summons. With all due respect to the NBI, we should consider this matter closed and we should instead focus all our time, efforts and energy in defeating Covid-19 which is our common enemy,” he added.
NBI Deputy Director and spokesman Ferdinand Lavin earlier confirmed that the anti-graft division sent a letter to Sotto inviting him to appear at the NBI’s main office on April 7.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año clarified that there was a difference between the tricycles allowed to operate in Pasig and the e-trikes in Manila.
Año explained the e-trikes are commissioned by the Manila city government and are not for picking up individuals.
Following the settlement of the issue between Sotto and the DILG, the Pasig City government is now only using its own vehicles to transport medical workers and other essential personnel who are exempted from the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. (PNA)