DA suspends assistance to Lanao town over harassment accusations

DA suspends assistance to Lanao town over harassment accusations

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Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has suspended all assistance to Butig, Lanao del Sur after two councilors allegedly molested his female staff member.

The councilors, whose names are not yet known, allegedly touched the buttocks of  Piñol’s staff member  while she was taking pictures.

The staff, a good-looking engineer, said these two officials, whose names I still have to get, touched her butt while she was taking pictures and then laughed,” Piñol said in a statement.

Piñol and his staff were in Butig on February 9 “to reach out to the poorest areas in the country and provide assistance to the people.”

During his trip he promised to “deliver interventions worth almost P60-l million for the development of Butig.”

Butig is claimed by the Maute Group, the Abu Sayyaf, and the local ISIS Group as the de facto capital of the Islamic Caliphate in the Philippines.

Because of the alleged incident, Piñol has suspended the assistance he promised to deliver.

Through this post, I am informing Mayor Pansar that all the assistance for Butig that I promised to deliver will be put on hold until after these two ill-mannered municipal councilors apologize to my female staff, to me and to the public for what they did,” he said.

Piñol said he cannot just let the incident pass without repercussion.

I cannot let this pass. They not only molested my staff but they also insulted and disrespected me.

Piñol also urged Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno “to take administrative sanctions against these two barbarians whose act now places the welfare of the whole town of Butig in jeopardy.”

The Regional Secretary of the DILG in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said “an investigation will be conducted on the molestation of a Department of Agriculture engineer by two municipal councilors of Butig, Lanao del Sur on Feb. 19.”

DILG ARMM Secretary Atty. Kirby Matalam Abdullah already called Mayor Pansar “to call the two councilors to explain in writing why they should not be reprimanded or worse suspended.”

 


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