DILG retracts order vs Isko's alleged failure in drug war before he became mayor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — The Department of Interior and Local Government on Friday withdrew the show-cause order issued to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for the city government's alleged "failure" to implement measures against use of illegal drugs in 2018, a year before he became mayor.

DILG Undersecretary for External and Legislative Affairs Ricojudge Echiverri explained the show-cause order was finalized and transmitted to Manila in 2019, but it was based on the audit conducted in 2018, when Joseph Estrada was the local chief executive.

He added the second order issued on July 9, 2021 and addressed to Moreno was an "inadvertent reissuance."

"By virtue of this error and the guidance of policies and procedures of the department, we are hereby withdrawing the document in issue," Echeverri said in a memorandum addressed to DILG-NCR.

In the order dated July 9 and addressed to the city government, Echiverri said the local government failed to comply with the policy and program it is mandated to do "specifically in meeting the standards and complying with the measures set forth by the National Anti-Drug Abuse Council Audit."

According to the copy of the document obtained by CNN Philippines on Thursday, the Manila government allegedly failed to comply with the guidelines stated under Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2018-01, issued by the DILG and the Dangerous Drugs Board, based on its assessment in the 2018 Anti-Drug Abuse Council Performance Audit.

Moreno was given 10 days to respond as to why he "should not be held administratively liable, among others" for failing to perform his duties.

Moreno became mayor of Manila in 2019.

"Wow galing ha! Sunod sunod na!" Moreno said in a Facebook post in reaction to the show-cause order from the DILG.

[Translation: Wow, that's great! One after another!]

The show-cause order surfaced after Moreno pointed to President Rodrigo Duterte's remark that unvaccinated Filipinos will be escorted home as the source of the overcrowding in vaccination sites. On the same day, the city's official Facebook page called out the social media page of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson, who is known for her close ties to the President, for sharing misinformation that a photo of a chaotic vaccination site was in Manila when it was taken in another city.

The DILG retracted the order after the agency drew flak from netizens.