Eleazar assures: PNP probing mass gathering events in Tondo, Baclaran
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has assured the public that the police force is investigating the recent mass gathering incidents in Tondo in Manila and Baclaran in Parañaque for violating health protocols.
Eleazar said on separate occasions that both events are being looked into, as these undermine government efforts against the spread of COVID-19.
Since the weekend — or barely days after Metro Manila and adjacent provinces shifted to a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) status — viral videos popped on social media about mass gathering incidents. One of which was the boxing match in Tondo, which drew large crowds in the area.
According to Eleazar, police have already filed complaints against organizers, including a barangay councilor from the area.
“Itong insidente na ito, ay nagsagawa ng patuloy na imbestigasyon ang ating Manila Police District at meron silang kinasuhan dyan actually. ‘Yong isang kagawad or barangay councilor at dalawa pa na responsible doon sa na-identify nila na silang responsible dito sa pagpapa-boxing na ‘yan,” he said in an interview with DZRH.
(About this incident, the Manila Police District is continuously probing the event and they have actually filed charges. One barangay councilor and two other individuals were identified as among those responsible for the event.)
“Patuloy pa rin ‘yong ginagawang imbestigasyon, sinasabi nga natin para malaman pa kung sinong pwedeng makasuhan dyan, parang walang pinagkaiba rin ‘yan dito sa Caloocan na nangyari, na posibleng super-spreader event,” he added.
(We are continuously doing the investigation, and we are doing so to know who should be held liable for that because that is not different from the mass gathering incident in Caloocan, which can be a super-spreader event.)
Another video showed kids playing games outdoors at a feast in Baclaran, and almost everybody wasn’t wearing a mask.
It also appeared that the teenagers were playing a game where they would lick their friends — an unsanitary act that may lead to COVID-19 transmissions.
Eleazar vowed during his Monday press briefing that the PNP would investigate what happened in Caloocan when a resort opened its doors to customers, which led to gathering.
“Mali talaga ‘to […] una, kagaya nang nangyari sa Caloocan, the concerned commanders in the area dapat namo-monitor nila ‘yan. Sinabi nga natin na may limitasyon ang pag-monitor sa lahat, pero through the reports of concerned citizens napaparating sa atin,” he said.
(This is really wrong. First, like what happened in Caloocan, the concerned commanders in the area should have monitored that. While we are saying that there is a limitation to what we can monitor, but concerned citizens sent to us these reports.)
“So ito ‘yong sinasabi natin na dapat inaaksyunan agad, and pinupuntahan agad. And well, as the situation dictates, eh di ‘yong appropriate action na gagawin, kung may kailangang i-accost d’yan, eh di arestuhin, at kung may kailangang file-an ng kaso, gano’n din ang gagawin,” he added.
(So these are the kinds of things that we say, should be acted upon and addressed immediately. And well, as the situation dictates, the appropriate action must be done: if they need to accost anybody, they should arrest him or her, and if there are charges that need to be filed, then we should do that.)
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were placed under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to a COVID-19 surge attributed to new variants of concern. Eventually, after the COVID-19 cases waned down in early March, the national government downgraded the quarantine status to a GCQ.
Still, Eleazar warned that transitioning to a GCQ does not mean that normal activities and festivities would be allowed to resume, especially as the virus does not distinguish quarantine classifications.
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