Personnel from the Quezon City government will track down individuals who joined the thick crowd waiting outside Will Tower for television host Willie Revillame’s supposed birthday giveaway for possible coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
Mayor Joy Belmonte told a press conference on Thursday that she already reached out to Revillame’s secretary for the identities of those in the crowd in a bid to contact them and encourage them to get tested for COVID-19.
“In the interim, I will also have been in touch with the secretary of Mr. Willie Revillame, kasi my assumption is that, taon taon naman pare-pareho ang fans na pumupunta sa kanya upang batiin sya, at upang siguro maaring tinutulungan nya (because my assumption is that, they are the same individuals who come to visit Willie on his birthday to greet him and perhaps, to receive assistance from him),” Belmonte said.
“So hinihingan ko po sila ngayon ng listahan ng maari nating puntahan para magkaroon ng contact tracing. As soon as we get that list handa na po ang CESU (City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit) namin upang babaan ang mga komunidad na ito at hikayatin natin silang magpa-test (So I asked for the list of individuals who we could contact. As soon as we get that list, our CESU is ready to go to them and encourage them to be tested for COVID-19),” she added.
The local government’s move came after dozens of people spent Wednesday night camped outside Will Tower along Eugenio Lopez Drive in hopes of getting assistance from Revillame who was celebrating his birthday.
Belmonte disclosed that prior to the incident, the TV host already called her to tell that “in fact…he was apprehensive.”
“It is his custom that whenever it’s his birthday, people come and visit him,” the mayor said, as the latter used to give “assistance to the indigent members of society.”
Belmonte said she told the TV host that should he push through with his plans, the local government “would station police officers outside” the tower “to make sure that there is crowd control and to ensure that physical distancing is observed.”
However, photos on social media showed there was an apparent breach of social distancing. Elderly individuals who are vulnerable were also seen waiting outside the tower.
Belmonte said she would coordinate with the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) regarding the incident although she said the QCPD reportedly “sent a contingent of police officers.”
“So I have to get their side of the story. Wala pa po silang fini-furnish sa akin na incident report, so gusto ko malaman sa kanila kung ano ba ang kanilang nagawa (They have not yet furnished me a copy of their incident report. I want to know what they really did during the incident),” she added.