Show cause order issued vs Cebu barangay officials who allowed Sinulog street dance, procession
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said a show cause order was issued against barangay officials who are complicit in the conduct of a viral Sinulog street dance and procession in a COVID-19 hotspot in Cebu City.
“We will not tolerate any violation of our quarantine protocols. Those responsible will be made to account. We did not stop in reminding people on the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in mass gathering and yet we see these kinds of activities and what makes it worse is the barangay is a COVID-19 hot spot,” Año said.
Año said he also ordered the Philippine National Police- Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to conduct an investigation and file charges against the organizers of the event.
“We will definitely get to the bottom of this. We have issued a show cause order against the officials who are involved in this blatant violation of the ECQ currently being implemented in Cebu City,” he said.
Año said the DILG is expecting to hear from the involved local leaders why no criminal and administrative cases should be filed against them while confirming that a separate investigation on 21 barangay officials and individuals is also being conducted by the CIDG.
According to the reports they have received, hundreds of people flocked the street of Sitio Alumnos in Barangay Basak San Nicolas last June 27 to participate in a Sinulog street dance and procession,violating a prohibition against mass gathering.
Año expressed frustration that despite being one of the barangays in Cebu City that is a COVID-19 hotspot, organizers of the street dance in Barangay Basak San Nicolas still went on with the parade and authorities failed to stop it. He says that violating health protocols place the lives of the people at risk.
“We need people to practice discipline. They should know better because Cebu City has the most number of cases. They should be careful. We have nothing against the expression of devotion but in a time of crisis we still need to think,” he said.
Barangay Basak San Nicolas is one of the 12 barangays in Cebu City placed under strict lockdown due to the high number of recorded COVID-19 cases based on the report of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
Other Cebu City barangays with high number of COVID-19 cases are Sambag Dos, Kamputhaw, Sambag Uno, Mabolo, Guadalupe, Lahug, Duljo, Tinago, Tisa, Ermita, and Tejero.
In a Facebook post, barangay officials said they did not authorize the street dance and Sinulog procession but they did not say why the activity was not stopped.
In a press briefing, PNP chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa reminded residents of Cebu City that no warning will be made for violators of quarantine protocols. They will just be arrested, he added.
“Our guidance in Cebu (City) is already a requirement because the number of infections is high that’s why if possible there will be no warning… generally the behavior of Cebuanos is they follow though there are few who are violating… majority follow the quarantine imposition in Cebu (City),” Gamboa said.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Cebu City under ECQ due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), as of June 28, Cebu City had a total of 4,562 total cases of which 3,892 are active cases, 592 have recovered, and 78 died. Ella Dionisio/DMS