The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday it would investigate the ‘karakol’ procession in General Trias, Cavite for violating the existing ban on mass gathering and other health protocols.
In a press release issued on July 29, DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya told reporters that a team of investigators were sent to General Trias to launch a probe into the incident, as he mulled the possibility of filing of administrative and criminal charges against those involved.
“From the video we have seen, all of the minimum health standards and BIDA behaviors were violated by the participants. We will get to the bottom of the incident and determine who are those responsible,” said the official.
Malaya is referring to a circulating video on social media showing hundreds of residents attending the illegal karakol procession along Arnaldo Highway in Barangay Santiago last Sunday, July 25.
The ‘karakol’ participants are seen not wearing face masks and face shields. They also did not practice physical distancing.
While the barangay captain, who reportedly allowed and even joined in the event, had apologized, Malaya said “no apology will be enough for his illegal act and for risking public health and safety in General Trias.’’
Moreover, the official also said the city government and local police will be asked to explain why the event was allowed to proceed and how they address the issue since finding it.
In an ABS-CBN News report, Mayor Antonio Ferrer said he nor the parish church did not approve of conducting the ‘karakol’ procession.
“Wala kaming pinapayagan. Ang dami nang nag-piyesta rin na mga barangay eh, wala kaming in-allow eh,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, those who attended the ‘karakol’ procession may face complaints for violating the ciity ordinance on adherence to minimum health standards, according to Malaya.
The city government was also advised to test and contact-trace the participants in the mass gathering. Some of them are reportedly under home quarantine already.
“The DILG has repeatedly reminded all barangay officials that they are our first line of defense against the Delta variant. All of them should serve as our role model and also model of discipline. The Barangay Chairman’s act at this time when we are fighting the Delta variant is inexcusable,” Malaya added.
Cavite is under the regular general community quarantine (GCQ) status until July 31 and will revert to GCQ with ‘heightened restrictions’ from August 1 to 15.