More village chiefs probed over mass gatherings

(The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Three more barangay captains are under investigation in connection with mass gatherings  in their areas, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said yesterday.

The DILG said Ireneo Cabahug of Barangay Matabungkay in Lian, Batangas; Bobby Daquioag of San Mariano in Sta. Marcela, Apayao, and Franklyn Ong of Kasambangan in Cebu City face charges for gross neglect of duty, negligence, serious misconduct and violation of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

Cabahug allegedly failed to enforce minimum health protocols for guests on a beach resort.

Daquioag reportedly attended a wedding ceremony  and reception even though the province was under modified enhanced community quarantine.

Ong is being investigated over separate incidents involving violation of physical distancing rules.

“Inaasahan natin ang tulong ng mga punong barangay sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols, pero sa mga insidenteng ito ay lumalabas na hindi nila nagampanan ang kanilang tungkulin at parang naging pabaya sila. Lahat ng ito ay iimbestigahan natin,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said.

The DILG had earlier filed charges against eight barangay captains over superspreader gatherings and lax implementation of quarantine protocols. One of the village chiefs has been placed on preventive suspension.

President Duterte said negligent barangay officials should be arrested for not preventing mass gatherings, which were blamed for the surge in COVID-19 cases.

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