Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez has ordered an investigation into a video circulating in social media involving a recent game participated in by minors without face masks during a fiesta in Barangay Baclaran last Sunday (May 16). Olivarez reiterated his call on Wednesday, (May 19) for barangay officials to strictly implement minimum health standards amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In the video, the minors were seen licking each other’s faces. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar also ordered the Southern Police District (SPD) to investigate the fiesta celebration in Baclaran following reports that health protocols were violated during the event. “I am giving you instructions to conduct an investigation immediately regarding this and do the appropriate action,” Eleazar said. Olivarez said the city will also conduct a parallel investigation on the incident wherein people managed to hold mass gatherings for the feast of Sta. Rita de Cascia that saw even young children participating. He added that he has already issued a memorandum to all the barangay captains to constantly remind and educate their constituents on the importance of wearing face masks and face shields, the the observance of social distancing and curfew hours. Olivarez, who is also chairman of the Metro Manila Council (MMC), said that he already issued a directive to Association of Barangay Captain president Chris Aguilar to implement measures against mass gatherings during fiestas. The mayor said violators will be charged with violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to person in authority, in relation to Executive Order 35, including approved city ordinances and executive orders. “We will check and see if there was a shortcoming among barangay officials in Baclaran, as well as law enforcers assigned in the area,” Olivarez said. Baclaran barangay chairman Jun Zaide said he did not receive any report on the matter.
President Duterte has asked the public to forgo any fiestas this month as the country continued to grapple with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.