Philippines Report

DILG 7 probes brgy. Inayawan chief on rice distribution mass gathering


THE Department of the Interior and Local Government Central Visayas (DILG 7) has asked the Barangay Inayawan village chief to explain the mass gathering during a rice distribution in the barangay on July 2, 2020.

A video showing the distribution of relief goods allegedly undertaken by the Mayor’s Information and Liaison Officers (Milo) in Barangay Inayawan made the rounds on social media in the morning of July 2.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered an investigation on the incident since mass gathering is prohibited while the entire city is under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo, in his Facebook post, said he received the show cause order from the DILG 7 in the afternoon of July 3.

The show cause order, signed by DILG 7 Director Leocadio Trovela, mandates Repollo to explain in 48 hours why administrative charges should not be filed against him.

The show cause order stated that the video showed a clear disregard for the protocol on social distancing, as a large number of Repollo’s constituents could be seen gathering in the barangay gym.

Repollo, in an earlier interview, said some residents reported to him that the Milo instructed them to proceed to a warehouse located within the barangay to receive their rice subsidy.

Repollo said just within this week, he had sent law enforcers to the area twice, on July 1 and June 30, to remind the Milo of the “no mass gathering” policy.

He assured the incident would not happen again after he undertook close coordination with the Philippine National Police.

He also accepted the show cause order, adding he was ready to explain that the barangay was not part of the mass gathering.

Meanwhile, City Attorney Rey Gealon has rendered his office’s findings on the incident in Sitio Alumnos, Brgy. Basak San Nicolas, where a fiesta celebration took place on June 27.

Gealon said should the DILG find the same, Basak San Nicolas’ barangay officials may face a six-month suspension.

The City Legal Office said while the Archdiocese of Cebu has allowed motorcades, processions are still prohibited. SunStar Cebu tried to reach Basak San Nicolas Barangay Captain Norman Navarro, but to no avail.

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