DILG lauds suspension of village execs in Cavite mass gathering - TrueID

DILG lauds suspension of village execs in Cavite mass gathering

Philippine News AgencySeptember 1, 2021

DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) welcomed the 30-day preventive suspension imposed on the barangay officials involved in the “karakol” and mass gathering event in Barangay Santiago in Gen. Trias, Cavite last month, and commended the local government unit’s (LGU) immediate action and investigation after the incident.

“Kudos to the city mayor and the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP or city council) of Gen. Trias, Cavite for acting quickly on the ‘karakol’ incident. May other LGUs take a cue from this incident, putting into the forefront the stringent implementation of health protocols, even down to the barangay level,” DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, said in a news release on Tuesday night.

Malaya said after Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año’s order to conduct a fact-finding investigation, Gen. Trias Mayor Antonio Ferrer approved the SP’s recommendation to issue a 30-day preventive suspension to Barangay Santiago Punong Barangay Rolando Pagkaliwangan and barangay kagawads Joey Loyola, Francisco Solis, and Ferdinand Perdito.

In Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution 03-2021-176, the local legislative body of the City of General Trias recommended the issuance of a preventive suspension for 30 days against the concerned barangay officials under Section 63 of the Local Government Code to further investigate the incident and provide an opportunity for the involved parties to be heard.

Sa bahagi ng DILG, kami ay patuloy na umaasa na sa panahong ito [30-day suspension] ay makumpleto na ang imbestigasyon upang malaman kung tunay ngang nagkaroon ng pagpapabaya ang mga barangay officials at kung dapat silang sampahan ng kasong administratibo (On the part of the DILG, we are hoping that during this 30-day suspension period, the investigation would be completed to determine whether there was negligence on the part of the barangay officials and if they should face administrative charges),” he said.

“Pinakamahalaga pa rin na ang mga LGU hanggang sa mga barangay ay matuto at mas maging mahigpit para hindi na maulit ang ganitong insidente lalo na ngayon na may community transmission na ang Delta variant (The most important is for LGUs, down to the barangays, to learn and be stricter to prevent a repeat of this incident, especially now that there is a community transmission of the Delta variant).”

Malaya said he hopes the incident serves as a warning to all barangay officials that the DILG does not tolerate any violation of minimum public health standards during the pandemic.

In a viral video posted on social media, hundreds of residents of Barangay Santiago participated in a “karakol” procession and mass gathering along Arnaldo Highway, deliberately violating the minimum public health standards, such as wearing of face mask and face shield, and physical distancing, while the LGU was under the general community quarantine with heightened restrictions classification.

Before the imposition of the preventive suspension, the city mayor issued a show cause order against the concerned barangay officials after learning of the “karakol” procession participated in by several barangay residents, which is a violation of local issuances and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution 2021-50.

In his letter to the city mayor, Pagkaliwangan apologized and shared that he only required 30 percent of the barangay employees to join the “karakol” and assist while following the safety health protocols.

He also said some residents who were seen not wearing face masks did so “when things got out of hand after a heavy rain, overwhelming the people to flock and join the parade.”

Malaya likewise reminded the public, vaccinated or not, to refrain from participating in mass gatherings, especially because the country is currently in a bout with the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Hindi pa po ito panahon para tayo ay mag-relax at gawin ang mga nakagawian na nating gawin. Hindi pa po nawawala ang banta ng virus kaya tuloy pa rin ang pag-iingat (This is not the time for us to relax and do the things that we have been accustomed to. The threat of the virus still lingers so we must continue to take precautions),” he said.

Through the same fact-finding investigation, it was also clarified that the Philippine National Police was quick to respond to the incident to conduct the necessary investigation and apprehend the violators but the people have already dispersed because of the rain and the activity had already ended when they arrived. (PR)

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