DILG probes three more barangay chiefs over ‘super spreader’ events

DILG probes three more barangay chiefs over 'super spreader' events


MANILA, Philippines — Three more barangay captains are facing investigation over mass gatherings that became “super spreader” events for COVID-19, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) disclosed Thursday.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año identified the village chiefs as Ireneo Cabahug of Barangay Matabungkay in Lian, Batangas; Bobby Daquioag of Barangay San Mariano in Sta. Marcela, Apayao; and Franklyn Ong of Barangay Kasambangan in Cebu City.


“Inaasahan natin ang tulong ng mga punong barangay sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols pero sa mga insidenteng ito ay lumalabas na hindi nila nagampanan ang kanilang tungkulin at parang naging pabaya sila.  Lahat ng ito ay iimbestigahan natin,” he said.

(We expect the help of barangay chiefs in implementing health protocols but in these incidents, it appears that they have not fulfilled their duty and they seem to have been negligent. We will investigate all these.)

According to Año, Cabahug is being investigated for failing to enforce minimum public health standards to tourists who did not follow social distancing and did not use face masks at a beach resort in Barangay Matabungkay in Batangas.

He also said that Daquioag has come under fire for allegedly attending a wedding and reception in San Mariano, Apayao, while the province was under the modified enhanced community quarantine period (MECQ).

On the other hand, Ong is being probed for two different alleged incidents of physical distance breaches in two separate cafés in Kasambangan, Cebu City, Año said.

Village leaders found liable for the conduct of activities that may promote transmission of the deadly COVID-19 disease could face charges of gross neglect of duty, negligence, serious misconduct, and violation of Republic Act No. 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, according to the DILG.

Año further revealed that previous reports against officials linked to super spreader events in their jurisdictions have already been referred to the prosecutor’s office. This includes the barangay officials involved in the boxing event at Barangays 181 and 182 in the City of Manila who are now facing trial.

READ: 6 barangay officials charged due to ‘superspreader events,’ says Año

A 60-day preventive suspension was also imposed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on the barangay official who failed to monitor and prevent the mass gathering at Gubat sa Ciudad Resort, Barangay 171 in Caloocan City on Mothers’ Day.


READ: Caloocan barangay chief arrested for allowing mass gathering in resort

DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said a total of 67,609 quarantine violations were recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in just one week – from June 7 to June 13.

Of the total violations, 51,607 were for non-wearing of face masks, 426 for the conduct of mass gatherings, and 15,576 for failure to observe physical distancing.

Malaya said these violators have already been rounded up by barangay watchmen (tanod) or police officers for violations of ordinances of local government units.


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