Olongapo mayor ready to answer DILG regarding ‘Angkas Pass’

OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales – Embattled Mayor Rolen “Lenj” Paulino Jr. said he is ready to explain his side on the issuance of ‘Angkas Pass’ which apparently drew the ire of the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Paulino said he is yet to receive the DILG complaint reportedly filed before the Ombudsman on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. 

Paulino reiterated he will explain his reason on proposing such policy. Paulino issued Executive Order No. 54, series of 2020 last May 21, which allows back riding or “angkas” in Olongapo City in violation of IATF protocols such as social distancing.

The ‘Angkas Pass’ allegedly committed various violations of quarantine protocols last May during the quarantine period.  

In a statement, Paulino said: “Gusto ko lang pong linawin na mula po nung kami ay sinabihan ng DILG hindi na po naming ipinatupad ang Angkas Pass. Mas mahalaga po, binawi rin po naming ang EO matapos po naming marinig ang address ng ating mahal na Pangulo nung June 5, 2020.” [I wanted to set this  clear, when we have received an order from the DILG, we stopped implementing ‘Angkas Pass.’ And more importantly, the EO was withdrawn since we heard our President spoke last June 5,2020]. 

“Rest assured, we are one with the IATF and the President in the fight against COVID-19, Here in Olongapo, from the start, we cooperate and we are also active in fight against this pandemic],” Paulino said. 

He said they city was enforcing strict compliance on the minimum health standards and other protocols implemented by the IATF which led to azero-active case within its premises for almost a month now. 

“Pati na rin sa disiplina ng mga taga-Olongapo ang huling positive case po dito sa Olongapo ay last May 26,” he noted

Paulino is confident he could explain the policies he made with regards to the ‘Angkas Pass.’ 

The DILG on Wednesday said a complaint was filed against Paulino before the Office of the Ombudsman for repeatedly violating quarantine protocols enforced by IATF.

DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said complaint for gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, alleged violations of Republic Act No. 11469 and Republic Act No. 11332 as well as open disobedience under Article 231 of the Revised Penal Code were filed against Paulino.