Three (3) more punong barangays (PBs) are now in hot water for violations of the prohibition against mass gathering in their respective areas, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año identified them as PB Ireneo H. Cabahug of Barangay Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas; PB Bobby Daquioag of San Mariano, Sta. Marcela, Apayao; and PB Franklyn O. Ong of Kasambangan, Cebu City.
He said that Cabahug is being probed on why he failed to enforce minimum public health standards (MPHS) to tourists who did not observe physical distancing and did not wear face masks in a beach resort in Barangay Matabungkay in Batangas.
Meanwhile, Año said Daquoag is under fire for reportedly attending a wedding and reception in San Mariano in Apayao at the time when the province was under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Ong, on the other hand, is also being investigated for two separate reported incidents of violations of physical distancing at F-bar and Cafe and Simatra Cafe in Kasambangan, Cebu City.
“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,” he said.
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.
Año said that previous reports against officials linked to super spreader events in their jurisdictions have already been referred to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Said super spreader events are recreational and resort operations in Barangay San Jose, Navotas City; Club Holic Bar & Restaurant at Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City; and the Bakas River incident in Barangay Matictic, Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Meanwhile, officials involved in the superspreader boxing incident at Barangays 181 and 182 in the City of Manila are now facing trial.
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.
“Ngayong panahon ng pandemya, bawal ang natutulog sa pansitan. Dapat ay maging masipag tayo sa pagbabantay sa ating lugar para masigurong walang mass gathering violations kung saan nagsisimula ang biglang pagdami ng mga kaso,” Año emphasized.
Meanwhile, DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said a total of 67,609 quarantine violations were recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in just one week.
“Nais po nating paalalahanan ang ating mga kababayan na maging disiplinado at sumunod sa batas para masiguro ang inyong kaligtasan ng inyong mga pamilya at ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay,” said Malaya.
Of the 67,609 violations from June 7 to 13, 2021, 51,607 were on non-wearing of face masks, 426 on the conduct of mass gatherings, and 15,576 for failure to observe physical distancing.
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.
“Patuloy pong mag-iikot ang ating mga barangay tanod at kapulisan para paalalahanan at tiketan ang ating mga kababayan na hindi sumusunod sa mga health protocols. Ito po ay para rin naman sa kabutihan at kapakanan nating lahat nang malampasan na natin ang pandemyang ito,” he said.
He explained that these violators were apprehended by barangay tanods or police officers who booked them for violations of ordinances of local government units.