Rep. Erice defends aid distribution that drew crowd with no social distancing
MANILA, Philippines — Caloocan 2nd District Representative Edgar “Egay” Erice defended his distribution of aid where there was an alleged breach of health protocols.
“As soon as the relief goods arrived, people lined up on the streets, we are supposed to distribute it house to house but we cannot just control, I tried to ask them to disperse but they are simply asking for help so moved away and ask my people to distribute it as fast as possible,” Erice said in a text message to Inquirer.net.
He added: “Umalis ako para maiwasan na magkumpulan ang tao sa harapan ko (I left to prevent the crowding of people in front of me) and I went to several alleys distributing cash assistance to small store owners on a store to store basis.”
Erice raised that provision of assistance should be unhampered as many people are affected by the lockdown caused by the spike in COVID-19 cases.
A netizen sends this CCTV footage showing Rep. Edgar Erice paying a visit in Barangay 144, in Caloocan City. The sender laments a lack of social distancing as the city battles a surging Covid-19 cases.
“The people are hungry, sick and penniless and humanitarian assistance should continue,” he said.
He also noted that the assistance being distributed was not from government funds, but sourced from his own pockets and his friends.
Erice drew flak after a video showed the lack of physical distancing in his visit in Barangay 144 amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The representative further explained that the same situation, wherein a mass gathering was observed, also happened in the aid payout of the city government headed by Mayor Oca Malapitan.
Erice also claimed that the Malapitans caused the issue where he received criticisms from netizens.
When asked how he concluded that the Malapitans are behind the issue on his distribution, he answered: “[From] pages identified with them and personalities identified with them.”
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