El Shaddai event probed for violations of health measures | Inquirer News

El Shaddai event probed for violations of health measures

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday assigned the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Disease (JTF COVID) Shield to look into alleged violations of health measures, particularly recent mass gatherings in Manila and Parañaque City.

Last week, the Christmas shopping rush caused a throng of people to go to Divisoria in Manila and Baclaran in Parañaque City.

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The Catholic charismatic movement El Shaddai “Family Appointment” event on Saturday also drew hundreds of people to the House of Prayer located at the Mike Velarde-owned Amvel City of Faith in Parañaque City. Velarde is the founder of the charismatic movement.

Año assured the public on Sunday that the local governments were “exerting efforts to prevent these crowd and mass gatherings.”

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“The PNP (Philippine National Police) will take the appropriate actions including formal investigations,” he said.

Department of the Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya told the Inquirer that Año has tasked the JTF COVID Shield “to investigate reports of mass gatherings,” particularly the El Shaddai movement’s event on Saturday, which was uploaded to YouTube.

In an interview aired on Sunday, Malaya appealed for strict observance of health measures.

The Parañaque City government will conduct its own investigation and require higher-ups from the El Shaddai to explain why it held the mass gathering where health rules were not observed.

City Administrator Ding Soriano told the Inquirer the group had no permit to hold the activity.

The weekly event was livestreamed through the YouTube account of the Velarde-owned media company Delta Broadcasting System.

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