This file photo shows Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file
DILG to file cases vs organizers, local officials involved in Cebu City procession
( - June 29, 2020 - 10:15am

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday that they intend to file complaints against organizers and officials involved in the religious activity held in a Cebu City barangay last weekend.

Cebu City was reverted back to enhanced community quarantine after health officials recorded a spike in COVID-19 infections in the locality. But over the weekend, there were reports that a sitio in barangay Basak, San Nicolas held a fiesta.

The FREEMAN reported that a religious procession, which ended with a Sinulog dance, took place in Sitio Alumnos, Barangay Basak, San Nicolas in Cebu City on the evening of June 27.

In an interview with ANC, Año said: “We are going to file cases against organizers for violating this quarantine protocols.”

The interior secretary said the barangay captain and head of police community center that has jurisdiction over the area will also be made to explain.

In a separate interview with CNN Philippines, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said he immediately ordered the city attorney to look into the incident.

“We don’t want to offend the sensibilities of the faithful but... we should not have mass gathering,” Labella said.

 “Initial report reveals that the barangay does not know about this,” he added.

The mayor said he would instruct the city attorney to coordinate with the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in investigating the event. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The FREEMAN

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 2, 2020 - 12:59pm

Cebu City is on enhanced community quarantine until June 30 at the earliest as the government focuses on a rise in COVID-19 cases there and in Talisay City, which is under modified enhanced community quarantine.

Quarantine passes in Cebu City have been revoked to keep people in their homes. 

Photo: Situation in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City on June 24, 2020 as police check the movement of residents after ECQ passes were cancelled the night before. The Freeman/Aldo Banaynal

July 2, 2020 - 12:59pm

Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force on COVID-19, says there is weak contact tracing in Cebu City.

It is difficult to observe safe distancing in some areas in Cebu City that are densely populated, he adds. 

July 1, 2020 - 12:09am

Cebu City will remain under an enhanced community quarantine, Health Secretary Franciso Duque III announces.

June 28, 2020 - 12:35pm

Filipino Nurses United calls for the mass hiring of nurses — with adequate salaries, benefits, and protection — as health workers in Cebu grapple with a high number of COVID-19 cases there.

"Time is of the essence! Immediate mass hiring of nurses with minimum entry salary of P32,000, just benefits including hazard pay, adequate personal protective equipment, and safe nurse to patient workload are critical solutions to augment the severe understaffing of nurses who will help save lives against COVID-19," it says in a statement.

It says it had been making that call since March "but sadly, the Department of Health (DOH) responded with a call for volunteer health warriors with an allowance of P500 a day."

June 25, 2020 - 7:52pm

The sudden lockdown of Cebu City, with quarantine passes cancelled the night before implementation, was a move that was insensitive to the plight of city residents, Movement Against Tyranny - Cebu says in a statement.

The group says "the people could have been warned earlier and relief goods and funds could have been provided earlier to support the struggling poor families. Instead, the government, through its military and police, has prepared to arrest 'violators'."

The group also rejects the government's putting the blame for the rise in cases on Cebuanos being stubborn, saying "what truly causes the greater problem is the slow and lacking response from the government."

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