Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) chief Jose Embang Jr. has withdrawn the new assignment of Fire Chief Inspector Elaine Evangelista as head of the Biñan Fire Station following the August 21 party she attended with other BFP personnel.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said the BFP had issued a show cause order, on the orders of DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año, against all its personnel involved in the alleged mass gathering in violation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The DILG will not tolerate any violation of IATF guidelines among its uniformed personnel and will impose the appropriate penalties on all erring individuals if warranted by the evidence gathered and presented,’’ Malaya said.
Malaya said the DILG directed the BFP-Internal Affairs Service (IAS) and the BFP Region 4-A Office to conduct a thorough probe and submit its findings immediately to the DILG.
“The BFP Chief likewise ordered BFP RD 4A to relieve all involved personnel from their current assignments, pending investigation, so that they could not interfere with the conduct of the probe,’’ he added.
On August 31, a video of the “despedida” party for outgoing Batangas City Fire Marshal Evangelista that was held in a hotel in the province went viral.
In the video, personnel of the Batangas City fire station were caught dancing without masks and were not observing social distancing.
Upon seeing the video, Embang admitted they were BFP men in the area based on the pictures shown in their records.