‘Run, Sara’ organizer in Cebu: No health protocol violated
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — The group behind the launching of a movement urging Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president next year has denied violating health protocols during the event held at a hotel here on June 6.
Niño “Bonito” Padilla, national secretary general of the “Du30 Pa Rin” movement, said the group welcomed the separate investigations being conducted by the Cebu City government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the supposed breach in safety and health guidelines amid the pandemic.
Padilla said the hotel function room where the event was staged could fill 1,000 people but only 250 attended the event—less than half of the 50-percent capacity allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
‘Within bounds of law’
“Actually, only around 250 people attended our event. So that’s within the bounds of law,” he told the Inquirer in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
While photos of the event showed people not wearing face masks, Padilla said these were removed only for a few minutes while their pictures were being taken.
“In fact, the event’s host kept on repeating the need for participants to follow health protocols,” he said. “We are very careful not to breach any protocol. The hotel was also so strict in ensuring that no mass gathering happened.”
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered an investigation after receiving reports of the big attendance in the launch.
“We need to look into it, especially that President Duterte himself strongly prohibits mass gatherings and other violations of the health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.
The Cebu event was also among the coronavirus “superspreader events” being investigated by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
“If somebody will give me complete information then we will conduct an investigation. Whoever is responsible for organizing that event, we will hold accountable,” he said in a television interview on Tuesday.
In February, Cebu City officials ordered the removal of “Run, Sara, Run” tarpaulins displayed in public areas in the city.
Labella, a political ally of Mr. Duterte’s, said the streamers should be taken down since these did not have permits from the city government.
Florante Catalan, chief of the city building office, said he had not received any application to put the streamers on walkways. INQ
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