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Barangay heads told: Enforce protocols, or elseâ¦
“As barangay captain, you are called upon and will be held liable for the failure of implementing the law in your territory. You have to enforce the law, the barangay captains, within your area. You are the person in authority,” Duterte said during a meeting of the government’s pandemic task force on Monday.
STAR/Joven Cagande, file

Barangay heads told: Enforce protocols, or else…

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 12, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte warned village chiefs that they would be held liable if they fail to enforce COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“As barangay captain, you are called upon and will be held liable for the failure of implementing the law in your territory. You have to enforce the law, the barangay captains, within your area. You are the person in authority,” Duterte said during a meeting of the government’s pandemic task force on Monday.

“But you know, the guidance and everything, direction, should be followed by the persons in authority. That’s what the law means here,” he added, noting that people who defy authorities would face charges.

Duterte, nevertheless, said he is satisfied with the implementation of the law.

The Caloocan City local government yesterday filed a complaint against Barangay 171 chairman Romeo Rivera after the Mother’s Day mass gathering at Gubat sa Ciudad resort in the city.

City health officer Dr. Evelyn Cuevas and business permits and licensing office head Emmanuel Vergara said Rivera violated the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) guidelines banning the operation of theme parks, swimming pools and other leisure centers.

The resort operated at “full capacity” on Sunday with 500 guests, including senior citizens and minors who are not allowed outside during the lockdown.

Resort-goers were photographed not wearing face masks and did not follow social distancing protocols, raising fears that the gathering could be a “COVID-19 super spreader event.”

City officials said Rivera should be preventively suspended for at least 60 days pending investigation, while government ordered contact tracing procedures for resort guests.

Caloocan substation 9 commander Major Harold Aaron Melgar was also relieved over the incident; according to Caloocan police chief Col. Samuel Mina. P/Lt. Ronald Batalla will replace Melgar.

In a dzBB interview yesterday, Rivera denied he neglected his duties, but admitted he was out of the city for a Mother’s Day mass with family. Rivera blamed the resort management for allowing guests as early as April 20.

“I did not allow the resort to operate. As a matter of fact, I had the guests arrested. I did my part and reminded Gubat. They are the ones at fault for allowing guests in,” Rivera said in Filipino.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said police and the local government would file charges against the protocol violators, including the resort owner and barangay officials.

“I am talking with DOJ (Department of Justice) Secretary Meynard Guevarra and we are crafting guidelines to strengthen the implementation of guidelines on mass gathering and non-wearing of face masks,” the interior chief said.

Año said the village chief “has a big responsibility because last week, President Duterte announced mayors and barangay captains must prohibit mass gatherings.”

He added it is unacceptable for barangay officials like Rivera to claim that they were unaware of the activities happening in their areas. “It’s impossible that barangay officials are not aware of what’s happening in the barangay,” he said. – Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Emmanuel Tupas

BARANGAY PRESIDENT DUTERTE
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