The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has absolved Councilor Franz Pumaren of any safety and 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 Pumaren made the proper coordination with concerned government agencies, such as the QCPD, Batasan Police Station 6 and the office of Old Balara barangay chairman Allan Franza, and sought assistance to ensure smooth traffic flow and implementation of safety and health protocols.
Around 97 people, including 11 policemen and 50 staff members from Pumaren’s office, manned the area to ensure proper protocols are followed, the QCPD said in its report.
While the community pantry attracted more than 6,000 residents from the said barangay, the QCPD noted safety and health protocols, such as wearing of masks and 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, the Quezon City mayor issued a show-cause order to Pumaren, the Quezon City Council Majority Floor Leader, to explain his side on the matter. The 72-hour deadline ends tomorrow.
In a statement, the city government said the mayor’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.”
The mayor 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 over pool parties and drinking sprees in public held on 9 and 11 May in the area. So far, 55 residents have tested positive according to CESU.
Last Friday, a complaint for Violation of Republic Act 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 Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon chairman Feliciano de la Cruz to the show-case order issued by the mayor for possible liability.
Meanwhile, QCPD chief Gen. Antonio Yarra informed the mayor 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,” 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.