The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has cleared Councilor Franz Pumaren of any health protocol violation in connection with the community pantry that he organized in Barangay Old Balara on Tuesday following a probe into the event.
In a report submitted by Batasan Police Station 6, it said that Pumaren made the proper coordination with concerned government agencies, such as the QCPD, Batasan Police Station 6 and the office of Old Balara chairman Allan Franza and sought assistance to ensure smooth traffic flow and implementation of safety health protocols.
Around 97 people, including 11 policemen and 50 staff members from the office of Pumaren, manned the area to ensure that proper safety health protocols are followed, the QCPD said in its report.
While the community pantry attracted more than 6,000 residents of the said barangay, the QCPD noted that safety health protocols, such as wearing of face masks, face shield and social distancing, were strictly implemented.
“Considering the number of persons in the area, it would seem like there was a violation of social distancing if pictures or videos were taken,” the report said.
“However, if there are violators, they were immediately accosted and informed of their violation,” it added.
The QCPD said the activity ended up orderly and peacefully around 9 p.m., with no health incident or problem reported.
Earlier, Mayor Joy Belmonte issued a show-cause order to Pumaren, the Majority Floor Leader of the Quezon City Council, to explain his side on the matter. The 72-hour deadline ends tomorrow.
In a statement, the city government said Belmonte’s move “is consistent with the city government’s policy of going after violators of established health and safety protocols as well as to hold them accountable for their actions, regardless of status or position.”
Belmonte then reiterated her warning to Quezon City residents, including officials, that they will be prosecuted, without fear or favor, if they violate health regulations and endanger the safety of residents.
First to be slapped with a criminal case was Juancho “Johnny” Ysores, president of the Phase 3 homeowners association at Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon. Pool parties and drinking sprees in public were held on May 9 and 11 in the area, and so far, 55 residents have tested positive according to CESU.
Last Friday, a complaint for Violation of RA 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” was filed at the QC Prosecutors Office against Ysores.
The QC Legal Department is also evaluating the answer of Bgy. Nagkaisang Nayon chairman Feliciano dela Cruz to the show-case order issued by Mayor Belmonte, for possible liability.
Meanwhile, QCPD Chief Gen. Antonio Yarra informed Mayor Belmonte that the police is wrapping up its own probe on the alleged health protocol violations during the community pantry of actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin.
“We are close to finishing up the gathering of evidence and testimonies regarding the event, and may recommend appropriate charges if warranted,” Gen. Yarra said.
The QCPD already identified the organizers of the pantry, all of which will be issued with Ordinance Violation Receipts (OVR) for violating the city’s ordinances on minimum health protocols. The family of senior citizen Rolando Cruz had refused to file criminal charges against Locsin, according to the QCPD.