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Cebu City’s ruling party Barug PDP Laban held a public event on October 5, 2021 for the presentation of their full slate for the May 2022 election. CDN Digital Photo | Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City’s ruling party Barug PDP Laban hosted a public event on October 5, 2021 for the presentation of their full list of May 2022 elections.

During CDN Digital’s live broadcast, netizens complained about the rally, especially since the city administration has always been strict in imposing restrictions on crowd gatherings.

“Mura mag COVID style. Tapok easy, ”one netizen said.

READ: Barug-PDP Laban launches the official list

The village hall where the event was held was visibly crowded, but none of the organizers could give CDN Digital an estimate of the number of attendees and guests at the event.

Watch it here:

The wearing of the mask was strictly enforced and reminders of social distancing were constantly announced. But no marshall has been deployed to ensure respect for social distancing.

While most of the Barug-PDP Laban candidates were present, the absence of municipal councilor Joël Garganera was noted.

Garganera, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy implementation manager, said he could not attend the event because it was busy and in meeting with the Interagency Task Force (IATF) and the business sector.

He said he had already said at the party that he couldn’t come.

“Dili lang sa ta moattend anang divise (nga activities). Kahibalo napud akong party nga busy kaayo ko sa EOC, ”Garganera said.

Regarding the event, Garganera clarified that Barug-PDP Laban had obtained a permit to hold the event for 100 people.

The maximum capacity of the hall was 300, which is why they got the permit.

As part of the general community quarantine (GCQ), sites are licensed up to 50 percent of its capacity with a maximum of 100 people, whichever is less

Yet, since Garganera was not there during the event, he could not personally determine whether a health protocol had been violated.

He said acting mayor Michael Rama should be the one to explain what happened during the event.

Garganera also said that although he is a member of the Barug Party, the EOC will remain independent of any politics and that the agency will investigate, if necessary, any allegations of violations of health protocols.

However, the advisor also called on the audience not to immediately judge the live broadcast of the event as he said the camera angle may have shown overcrowding even though there was none.

Politics aside, Garganera reminded parties and candidates not to organize too many public events during the pandemic and to try to be creative in their campaigns, so that no health protocols are violated.

/ bmjo

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