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Foreign pastor held for holding religious gathering in CDO amid ECQ



A Nigerian pastor was apprehended for holding a religious gathering inside his church despite the prevailing enhanced community quarantine in Cagayan de Oro City, police reported.

Arrested was David Babatunde Hassam, 53, currently residing in Brgy. Bugo, according to a report from the city police.

Members of the City Police Station 6 apprehended Hassam at his church, Deliverance Power Center Ministries Inc., in Bugo, around 2:40 p.m. Sunday.

A resident earlier reported that Hassam was preaching to followers inside the church, violating the ECQ being implemented in the city, the report said.

It can be recalled that Cagayan de Oro was placed under the strictest quarantine status in mid-July amid reports that cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 had been detected in the city.

Hassam was brought to Police Station 6 while being investigated for violation of Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

Col. Aaron Mandia, city police director, said local lawmen are strictly enforcing the ECQ and appealed to residents to observe health protocols and guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Infectious Diseases.