Busted gov’t employee in Zambo town not from DILG: AAo

MANILA The government employee who was recently busted in an anti-drug operation in the municipality of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte is not an employee of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), its Officer-In-Charge Secretary Eduardo AAo said.

AAo said the arrested suspect, Gary Cabanit, 38, is a job order worker of the local government unit (LGU) of Siocon town and was assigned by the Municipal Mayor to the DILG-Siocon field office.

"Mr. Cabanit is not included on the DILG's master list of Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOO) and does not hold an employer-employee relationship with the department," he said in a news release issued Thursday.

"The DILG does not condone any activities of DILG employees or LGU-staff assigned at the DILG field offices involving the use or trade of illegal drugs, most especially inside the office premises," he added.

Based on the field report submitted to the DILG Central Office, Cabanit, an alleged member of the Sahibad Drug Group and a drug surrenderer, was arrested by the Siocon police inside the DILG-Siocon field office on 6:37 p.m. on September 9.

Cabanit, who was listed as a high-value target Level 2 drug personality in the municipality, was the subject of a month-long intelligence build-up and surveillance due to his alleged illegal drug trade.

After his arrest, he was brought to the Siocon District Hospital for medical and physical examination. He is detained at the PNP-Siocon while appropriate charges are being prepared against him.

Meanwhile, AAo directed all DILG field personnel to be wary of accepting detailed personnel assigned by the LGU at the DILG field offices and ensure that there will be no repeat of similar incidents across the country.

"As DILG personnel, you must uphold the value of matino, mahusay, at maasahang kawani (good, skilled and dependable employee) at all times," he said.

He said his high trust in the LGOOs as the department's elite corps of public servants, having hurdled the intensive six-month training prior to their conferment and field assignments, remained.

Citing the DILG's recent adoption of one-strike policy, the DILG chief enjoined LGUs to regularly conduct drug testing among their officials and employees to ensure a drug-free workplace.

He urged local chief executives to ensure that drug surrenderers have undergone the proper community-based rehabilitation process before considering them for work in their respective localities.

"As local chief executives, it is your responsibility to ensure that those working for you are clean. Let us work together in ridding our country of illegal drugs," AAo noted.

Under the DILG's one-strike policy, drug testing shall remain a requirement for initial entry to government service for appointive DILG officials and employees, while those who are already in service need to undergo periodic mandatory and/or random drug testing every two years as a condition for retention in government service. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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