QCPD finds no health protocol violations in barangay feeding program
Photo presented to reporters at a press conference shows staff of Councilor Franz Pumaren taking photos as the latter enforces quarantine protocols at a feeding event he organized.

QCPD finds no health protocol violations in barangay feeding program

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - May 31, 2021 - 3:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Police District has cleared Quezon City Councilor Franz Pumaren of any safety health protocol violations at feeding program in Barangay Old Balara that police investigated.

A report by Batasan Police Station 6 said that Pumaren made the proper coordination with concerned government agencies, such as the QCPD and the office of barangay chairman Allan Franza and sought assistance to ensure smooth traffic flow and  health protocols.

"Considering the number of persons in the area, it would seem like there was a violation of social distancing if pictures or videos were taken," the report said.

"However, if there are violators, they were immediately accosted and informed of their violation," it added.

The QCPD said the activity ended around 9 p.m., with no health incident or problem reported, noting that safety health protocols, such as wearing of face masks, face shield and social distancing, "were strictly implemented."

Around 97 people, including 11 policemen and 50 staff members from the office of Pumaren, manned the area to ensure that proper safety health protocols are followed, Pumaren said at a press conference earlier.

The feeding program, which QCPD referred to as a "community pantry", attracted more than 6,000 residents of the said barangay.

READ: QC councilor slapped with show-cause order over food distribution activity

'Without fear or favor'

Earlier, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte issued a show-cause order to Pumaren, the Majority Floor Leader of the Quezon City Council, to explain his side on the matter. The 72-hour deadline is set to elapse on Tuesday.

Police personnel were earlier instructed to be on the lookout for mass gatherings and parties after numerous instances were recorded. 

However, past cases of quarantine violations by Philippine government officials have largely gone unaddressed. 

The Quezon City local government earlier said its policy would be to hold violators in the city accountable "regardless of status or position...without fear or favor."

In its statement, the LGU said it was evaluating the answer of Bgy. Nagkaisang Nayon chairman Feliciano dela Cruz to the show-case order after a pool party in the village became a superspreader event. 

Angel Locsin issued violation receipts

In the statement, Police Brig. Gen. Antonio Yarra, QCPD director, said that the police is wrapping up its probe on the alleged health protocol violations during the community pantry of actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin.

“We are close to finishing up the gathering of evidence and testimonies regarding the event, and may recommend appropriate charges if warranted,” he said.

Quezon City police also identified the organizers of the pantry, all of whom will be issued ordinance violation receipts for violating rules on minimum health protocols.

The family of senior citizen Rolando Cruz, who passed away while in line for the pantry, refused to file criminal charges against Locsin, the QCPD said.

READ: QC gov't warns residents of sanctions after pool party prompts community lockdown

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.

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