Cebu City Legal summons Basak San Nicolas officials
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Legal Office has summoned officials of Barangay Basak San Nicolas to shed light on the fiesta celebration that took place within their village last Saturday, June 27.
A two-page show cause order dated June 28, 2020 was issued by the City Legal Office, signed by Legal Officer Rey Gealon, requesting village officials to explain before the city government why they shouldn’t be held liable for the incident.
Photos of the fiesta celebration held in Sitio Alumnos in Barangay Basak San Nicolas that went viral online had reached the attention of the city government.
“The City Government, through the City Legal Office, has directed the barangay leaders and officials of San Nicolas to explain within 24 hours their violation of existing guidelines under our Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) status,” said Mayor Edgardo Labella in a statement on Facebook.
“I have tasked Atty. Rey Gealon, our City Legal Chief, to investigate the holding of a fiesta celebration in Sitio Alumnos despite a directive strictly prohibiting mass gatherings,” he added.
Mass gatherings, including small fiestas within sub-villages, are strictly prohibited while the entire Cebu City undergoes through enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
According to the city government, Barangay Basak San Nicolas has a total of 90 active coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 cases) as of June 28, 2020. Being part of the Top 10 villages with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, authorities are planning to impose a hard lockdown there.
The City Legal Office also warned barangay officials that they would not take the issue lightly, and they could file appropriate administrative and criminal charges.
“It is apparent from the occurrence that the barangay has been too complacent in implementing the clear mandate of the law and has been negligent in its duty to enforce the Executive Order (EO),” the order stated.
“This office sternly warns you that these violations are not taken lightly and we will be referring these acts to the appropriate authorities who can impose the sanctions that may be called for after due investigation,” it added.
Barangay officials, together with police in Cebu City, have earlier conducted their own investigation on the incident. /dbs
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