No mañanita? PNP chief denies ‘partying’ in Baguio City
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) denied Sunday claims that some of its officials, including PNP chief Gen, Archie Gamboa held a party in Baguio City amid the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
Rumors about Gamboa’s supposed party at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) as a farewell gathering for his retirement on September 2 spread across social media.
Netizens posted a text message supposedly from Baguio City residents stating that Gamboa’s party featured a live band performance at the Navy Base in Baguio City.
But Gamboa claimed that there was no party or a concert held in the city but only a dinner where quarantine rules were strictly followed.
“There is no truth to the allegations spreading on social media,” Gamboa said in a statement.
He noted that all the PNP officials who went to Baguio City underwent a triage which is a mandatory medical check being observed by the local government for incoming residents and visitors as part of the strict measures to prevent the entry and spread of COVID-19.
“There was no party or concert. It was a dinner that ended at 9:30 p.m.,” the PNP chief said.
“Social distancing was strictly followed and the food was individually catered,” he added.
The PNP chief also said that he and his security personnel stayed at the Chief PNP Cottage located at the Navy Base “the whole time” as part of the health protocols.
“Mayor Benjie Magalong was well aware of my presence and our activities were duly coordinated,” Gamboa stressed.
According to Police Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio City Police chief, the officials were in the city to attend a “low-key testimonial parade” which he said was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They were supposed to be given a low-key testimonial parade at PMA but as I understand it, in deference to the current situation, the leadership of the DND, AFP, and the honorees themselves decided to forego with the activity,” Co told reporters in a text message.
In May, Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas was fiercely criticized for holding a birthday party at the headquarters of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in Taguig City at the height of strict coronavirus lockdown measures.
Sinas, along with 18 other police officers, is now facing criminal charges before the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office for the quarantine breach.
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