Manila police to look into raps vs audience at viral street boxing in Tondo
Violators of curfew hours and health protocols are made to do push-ups at a covered court in Barangay 228 in Tondo, Manila at past midnight yesterday.
Miguel De Guzman

Manila police to look into raps vs audience at viral street boxing in Tondo

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - May 18, 2021 - 6:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — Leadership of the Manila Police District was directed Tuesday to look into possibly filing charges against the audience of the viral street boxing match in Tondo.

To recall, Manila police filed charges for a street boxing event against a barangay official and two others for violating quarantine protocols as well as illegal gambling and game-fixing. Police Lt. Col. Paul Doles, Manila Police Station 1 commander, was quoted in reports as saying that witnesses identified Arnel Saenz, a kagawad of Brgy. 182 as the organizer of the street boxing event

In a statement sent to reporters, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief said that the local police should not stop there, suggesting they continue their investigation to identify and possibly file charges against the participants and spectators in the match.

“What happened in Tondo is disappointing. It's the barangay officials who should be setting a good example, yet they were the first to stubbornly organize a potential super spreader event,” he said in Filipino.

“These events are precisely the super spreader events we are warning about. Transmission is fast when crowds like these form.”

Under the looser general community quarantine designation, mass gatherings are still prohibited according to the omnibus guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. 

This comes weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police to start arresting anyone caught without a mask, contradicting earlier police claims that they would only be imposing warnings and community service on violators. Thousands have since been fined and arrested. 

PILIPINO STAR NGAYON: PNP planong kasuhan mga nanuod ng 'boxing sa Tondo' sa gitna ng pandemya

Photo still shows a scene from the "street boxing" event held in Tondo.
Screengrab/Manila Police District

Philstar.com sought comment from Police Lt. Col. Roberto Mupas, Manila Police District spokesperson about what specific case can be filed against the spectators of the fight, but he still has not responded as of this publishing.

Earlier, the police chief also directed Caloocan police to look into charges against resort-goers caught swimming in photos that went viral on social media. He said this was because none of them observed COVID-19 pandemic guidelines and minimum health standards.

The barangay captain and police commander responsible for the locality have since been sacked from their posts. 

Eleazar appealed to the public to observe health protocols at all times under the general community quarantine. 

"Many of our front-liners, including health workers and police, have been infected and died just to control the spread of the virus. Let us not ignore their sacrifice. Let's not risk our health and safety for something short-term," he said.

To date, the Department of Health has recorded 1.15 million coronavirus infections in the country, 52,291 of whom are still classified as active cases. 

— with a report from James Relativo and News5 

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