Barangay chief on controversial street celebration: ‘My conscience is clear’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The village chairperson of Basak San Nicolas in Cebu City is ready to face the charges to be filed against him for failure to stop a Sinulog street dance celebration amid prevailing strict health protocols due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I will face the charges against me. I will defend myself because my conscience is clear,” said Barangay Captain Norman Navarro in a phone interview with reporters on Monday, June 29, 2020.
Cebu City remains under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the continuous rise in the number of COVID-19. Under ECQ, mass gatherings such as fiesta celebrations in sitios are strictly prohibited.
Police in Cebu decided to include Navarro in the cases they will be filing for failure to supervise the enforcement of quarantine protocols in the barangay. They also identified at least 13 more people responsible for the incident.
Navarro expressed disappointment that the organizers failed to inform him of their plans to hold a foot procession and a Sinulog dance performance. He said he only permitted them to bring out the image of Snr. Sto. Niño on the village’s streets on board a mini pickup truck.
“Why am I impleaded in the cases? Yes, I agreed with the organizers’ request to bring out the image of the Sto. Niño on the streets on board a multicab. Our agreement was just that. I did not allow people to join the procession and the Sinulog,” he said in Cebuano.
Meanwhile, Navarro said he hopes he will be cleared from the cases to be filed against him. He added that he did everything to stop the spread of the virus in Basak San Nicolas, which was among the 12 villages that were placed under strict lockdown due to rising cases of COVID-19.
Photos of an unauthorized fiesta celebration held at Sitio Alumnos, Barangay Basak San Nicolas went viral over the weekend.
It showed throngs of people crowding the streets with no regard to physical distancing, and performers doing the traditional Sinulog dance while wearing face masks. /bmjo
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.