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DILG: Three more barangay captains under fire over super spreader events
File photo shows a "street boxing" event in Tondo, Manila, which was under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions.
Video grab ng video na inilabas ng Manila Police District (MPD) station 1

DILG: Three more barangay captains under fire over super spreader events

(Philstar.com) - June 17, 2021 - 12:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — Three more barangay chiefs are facing probes over mass gatherings in their localities that eventually became super spreader events linked to coronavirus transmission. 

The erring officials could face charges of gross neglect of duty, negligence, serious misconduct, and violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

In a statement sent to reporters, the Department of the Interior and Local Government identified the three as: 

  1. Ireneo Cabahug of Brgy. Matabungkay in Lian, Batangas;
  2. Bobby Daquioag of Brgy. San Mariano, Sta. Marcela, Apayao;
  3. Franklyn Ong of Brgy. Kasambangan, Cebu City.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that Ong is being investigated for two separate reported incidents of violations of physical distancing at F-bar and Café and Simatra Café in Kasambangan, Cebu City. 

Videos of the incidents have since gone viral on social media. 

Meanwhile, Cabahug reportedly failed to enforce minimum public health standards among tourists who did not observe physical distancing and did not wear face masks in a beach resort, according to the DILG chief.

Daquoag for his part is under fire for reportedly attending a wedding and reception in San Mariano in Apayao while the province was under modified enhanced community quarantine. 

“We expect the help of barangay chiefs in implementing health protocols but in these incidents, it appears that they have not fulfilled their duty and they seem to have been negligent. We will investigate all this," Año said.

READ: DILG files memo giving barangay execs 'more teeth' against mass gatherings

Past cases set for prosecution 

Año, a former military general who critics say has been instrumental in the government's heavy-handed approach to quarantine enforcement, said previous reports against officials linked to super spreader events have already been referred to the Prosecutor’s Office.

These include the officials involved in the superspreader boxing incident at Barangays 181 and 182 in the City of Manila, whom he disclosed are now facing trial.

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

A 60-day preventive suspension was also imposed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on the barangay official who failed to monitor and prevent the mass gathering at Gubat sa Ciudad Resort, Barangay 171, Caloocan City on Mothers’ Day.

To recall, local executives and a police commander have already been sacked in Caloocan after failing to enforce quarantine protocols at a resort that went viral on social media. 

Police have also 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. 

Earlier in May, the DILG filed a memorandum ordering the mandatory patrols of barangay security personnel to clamp down on mass gatherings after a spate of viral superspreader events. 

This was to give barangay executives "more teeth" against quarantine violations, it said then. 

READ: PNP eyeing raps over Caloocan City pool party

Quarantine violations

Interior Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also said that a total of 67,609 quarantine violations were recorded by the Philippine National Police from June 7 to 13. Of which:

  • 51,607 were on non-wearing of face masks
  • 426 on the conduct of mass gatherings
  • 15,576 for failure to observe physical distancing.

Malaya reminded the public to "be more disciplined" in following rules that he said were "meant to protect them and their families." 

Quarantine violators in government, though, have so far not received any penalties. Other cases were even cleared and have gone largely unaddressed. 

READ: Whatever happened to: Quarantine violators in Philippine government

Malaya said that "while there were fewer violators on mass gatherings during the said period, there was an increase in breach of physical distancing rules as compared to last week’s figures."

He explained that these violators were apprehended by barangay tanods or police officers who booked them for violations of ordinances of local government units.

To date, 1.33 million coronavirus infections have been recorded by health authorities. 56,170 remain classified as active cases. 

It has been 457 days since the Philippine government first imposed the enhanced community quarantine in some parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila. 

The Philippines is still under the world's longest quarantine. 

COMMUNITY QUARANTINE COVID-19 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DILG NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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