Ano orders Candaba officials, police to investigate unauthorized duathlon
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano has directed the local government of Candaba, Pampanga and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate a duathlon held last December 6.
In a statement, Interior Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Ano ordered an investigation on the violation of IATF protocols and Provincial Ordinance 756 in relation to the Bayanihan Act.
“We urge them to file the necessary charges and impose the appropriate penalties against the organizers based on the result of the investigation,” Malaya said.
Malaya said the duathlon in Candaba had no permit from the local government.
“They did apply but the necessary permit was not issued by the LGU, hence, the conduct of said event was unauthorized and illegal,” he said.
“Since the organizers pushed through without a permit, the LGU alerted the Candaba Police Station and police officers were dispatched to the site to stop the duathlon from continuing,” he added.
According to the Candaba LGU, the organizers wrote a letter apologizing for holding the event without a permit but the harm has been done.
Malaya said based on the reports and posts on social media, participants and spectators are seen to be violating physical distancing and were not wearing face masks and face shields.
The DILG also received reports that several participants who came from other provinces did not secure the necessary medical certificates and travel authority from the PNP.
“While IATF Resolution No. 38 allowed non-contact sports in areas under MGCQ like the province of Pampanga, this has to be harmonized with other protocols on mass gathering and interzonal travel,” he said.
“Under IATF guidelines, considerations for sporting events include limiting the number of participants to 50 percent of the venue and that the minimum public health standards must be strictly observed. Spectators to allowable sporting events are also strictly prohibited,” he added.
The DILG reminded the public that all forms of mass gatherings, especially this holiday season, is strictly prohibited under IATF regulations because of the high risk of community transmission.
“We would also remind all local officials and police stations nationwide not to put their guard down because COVID-19 still remains a threat to our country,” said Malaya. Ella Dionisio/DMS