Did Barug-PDP Laban violate health protocols during presentation of slate?
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Cebu City’s ruling party, Barug PDP Laban, held a public event on October 5, 2021, for the presentation of their complete slate for the May 2022 polls.
During the live feed of CDN Digital, netizens complained about the gathering, especially since the city administration has always been strict in imposing restrictions on crowd gathering.
“Mura mag way COVID. Easy tapok,” said one netizen.
The function hall where the event was held was visibly packed, but none of the organizers could give CDN Digital an estimate as to the number of participants and guests in the event.
Watch it here:
Wearing of masks were strictly imposed and reminders for social distancing was constantly announced. But no marshalls were deployed to ensure social distancing was followed.
While most candidates of Barug-PDP Laban were present, the absence of Councilor Joel Garganera was noted.
Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said that he could not attend the event because he was busy and in a meeting with the Interagency Task Force (IATF) and the business sector.
He said he already told the party he couldn’t come.
“Dili lang sa ta moattend anang divisive (nga activities). Kahibalo napud akong party nga busy kaayo ko sa EOC,” said Garganera.
As for the event, Garganera clarified that Barug-PDP Laban had secured a permit to hold the event for 100 people.
The venue’s maximum capacity was 300, which is why they were granted the permit.
Under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), venues are allowed up to 50 percent its capacity with a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower
Still, since Garganera was not around during the event, he could not personally determine if any health protocol was violated.
He said Acting Mayor Michael Rama should be the one to explain what happened in the event.
Garganera also said that while he is a party member of Barug, the EOC will remain independent from any politics and the agency will scrutinize, if necessary, any allegations, in the violation of health protocols.
However, the councilor also appeal to the public not to immediately judge the live feed of the event as he said the camera angle may have shown overcrowding even of there was none.
Politics aside, Garganera reminded parties and candidates not to hold too many public events during the pandemic and try to be creative in their campaigns, so that no health protocols will be violated.
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