122 Cebu City bar patrons nabbed for violating COVID-19 health protocols

Published June 21, 2021, 3:20 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

TWO heavily armed policemen stand guard as customers of a bar in Cebu City are apprehended for violating the curfew ordinance Saturday night. (Contributed photo by Benjie Talisic)
CEBU CITY – Police rounded up more than 200 persons over the weekend here for violating various protocols meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, chief of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) here, said 212 persons were apprehended during the conduct of “Oplan: Bulabog” from Saturday to Sunday. The simultaneous operations were conducted from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The bulk of the apprehension came from a high-end bar in Barangay Barrio Luz.

Operatives of the Mabolo Police Station and personnel of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team accosted 122 persons at Verified Lounge, which is located on the roof deck of the Avenir Building along Archbishop Ave.

While selling and consuming alcoholic beverage are already allowed in the city, PROBE chief Raquel Arce said those who were caught in the bar were penalized for violating the 11 p.m. curfew.

Proper social distancing was also not observed during Saturday night’s raid.

The apprehended persons were brought to PROBE’s holding facility. Each violator was fined P500 while those who were not able to pay were asked to render community service.

Management of the bar was also issued a show-cause order for violating the city ordinance.

Garganera revealed that authorities have been monitoring the bar but because of its location, it took time before the violation was caught.

“We have been monitoring them but it was hard to catch them because they were in the roof deck. While the police were on their way up, the customers will already scamper and hide in fire exits. For a time they’ve been successful in evading our enforcers, there is always a time for everything and it’s time for them to face the consequence of their actions,” Garganera said.

Following the issuance of the show-cause order, the bar’s permit to serve liquor will be suspended pending investigation, Garganera said.

“Considering the gravity of their blatant violations of our existing Executive Orders, we might endorse for the revocation of their liquor permit. This will serve as a lesson to all who disregard our safety in this pandemic,” Garganera said.