Belmonte seeks probe on fake COVID-19 vaccine advisories

Published August 9, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is calling on the national government and online platforms to investigate the proliferation of fake advisories claiming that walk-ins are now be allowed in vaccination sites.

Belmonte, on Monday, issued the appeal after people without vaccination appointments swarmed into a vaccination site in Araneta Center on Sunday, violating the social distancing protocols and raising the threats of the COVID-19 infection spread.

For Belmonte, such activity must be investigated, particularly by the national government and by various online platforms, as it is “dangerous,” “sows discord” and “causes divisiveness” among the people.

“This is the time for the government, and I’m appealing to online platforms to work with the government now, because what happened yesterday, that is scary. That caused a super spreader event that could have endangered the lives and health of many of our citizens just because they were not quick to act when the local government had asked them to take down the post,” she said in an ANC interview.

A fake advisory saying walk-ins would be accommodated at the Araneta Coliseum which was posted by two Facebook accounts circulated on social media Saturday. Although the local government immediately issued a statement that the post was not true, many still believed it and flocked to the vaccination site on Sunday.

Belmonte said she was not discounting the possibility that the proliferation of such fake advisories was done by “political enemies of either the national government or the local government” considering that now is the “critical period of our times” as election season nears.

“This has happened all throughout Metro Manila… and this act requires national government intervention,” she said.

Since the local government started its vaccination program, it never allowed walks-in at any of its vaccination sites to avoid the crowding of people.