The Quezon City government has initiated an investigation to probe Barangay Captain Allan Franza and Homeowners Association President Don Brabante of Matandang Balara after they allegedly neither failed to prohibit nor subsequently report a public gathering and a drinking session that led to the spread of COVID-19 to 72 residents.

Mayor Joy Belmonte directed the City Legal Department to investigate the said barangay official, as well as all those involved in the superspreader event.

“Napapansin natin na dumadami ang ganitong klaseng mga insidente. The spread could’ve been prevented but we see that some people, including persons in authority, have started to become lax in the enforcement and practice of minimum health protocols,” said Belmonte.

“This should serve as a wake-up call for everyone to remain vigilant and wary of COVID-19. The virus is still very much in our environment and we are counting on everyone’s cooperation,” she added.

City Legal Officer Attorney Orlando Paolo Casimiro said his office has issued a show cause order to Barangay Chairman Franza, asking him to explain why he should not be held criminally and administratively liable due to the reported superspreader event.

Meanwhile, a complaint for violation of health protocols and permitting a social gathering beyond what is allowable by the IATF was filed against Brabante.

“If it will be proven that Mr. Brabante had approved the gathering and the drinking session that followed the wedding, failed to enforce our health and safety protocols, or report the same to the authorities as referenced by one of the index cases, then he may be held criminally liable pursuant to RULE VI, Section 2(h) of the IRR in relation to Section 9(d) of RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act. The same is true for Punong Barangay Franza.” said Casimiro.

Based on the report by the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), a total of 255 residents of Area 7, Matandang Balara were swabbed and among these, 72 were confirmed positive.

“Most of our patients are currently admitted in different HOPE facilities while there are others isolated in their homes. Among those who are put under home quarantine are five minors, one pregnant adult, and one senior citizen,” said CESU Chief Dr. Rolando Cruz.