Despite being the second epicenter of COVID-19 in the Philippines, a Barangay in Cebu City bravely celebrated its religious festival, defying the enhanced community quarantine measures being implemented by the government.
Yesterday, netizens complained on Facebook after seeing the photos taken during the fiesta dedicated to Senyor Sto. Niño held at Brgy. San Nicolas in Cebu City.
In the photos posted by Kenneth Londres Edillon, it showed the residents who waited for the arrival of the procession doesn’t practice social distancing.
Some people performed Sinulog Dance during the procession and wearing a face mask, hoping to protect them from being infected by COVID-19.
It’s not yet known if the officials of San Nicolas gave a permit for the fiesta, but photos showed that even barangay patrols lead the procession. An ambulance was also spotted during the festival.
The Barangay Captain of San Nicolas, Norman Navarro also denied that he was informed about the procession.
Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr. criticized the actions of the San Nicolas residents.
“An unauthorized Sinulog performance was held on June 27 at Sitio Alumnos, Basak San Nicolas, clearly violating ECQ protocols. This is completely unacceptable and puts everyone at risk,” said Rama Jr.
The said Barangay contributed 99 out of the 4,831 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cebu City.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) already summoned the people who led the said procession.
They’re going to ensure that the said event would not happen again in any place in Cebu in the future.
“Those people in those areas should realize that if we are not on ECQ, we don’t forbid religious activity. But we are on ECQ. They should realize that,” Deputy Regional Director for Administration of the Police Regional Office 7, Col. Randy Peralta said.
On Sunday, members of the PNP Special Action Force were deployed in the said Barangay to strictly enforce the ECQ.
A few days ago, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed disappointment on what’s happening to Cebu, blaming the people there for the rising cases of COVID.
“You Cebuanos, don’t be angry at me. I just want to be frank with you. It’s good that we are honest with each other. I’ll go there and be honest with you once I visit. You are so stubborn.” Duterte said.
However, former Cebu Mayor Tommy Osmena defended the Cebuanos, saying that they’re not hard-headed.