MANILA, Philippines — A “fact-finding” effort into the crowd-drawing events attended by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Senator Manny Pacquiao, which allegedly violated physical distancing measures, will be conducted, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Sunday.
“We’ll make sure na magkaroon ng fact-finding diyan at kung merong dapat managot ay titignan namin,” Año said in an interview over dzBB.
Roque was criticized by netizens for addressing a dense crowd on Bantayan Island, Cebu without allegedly observing physical distancing.
Photos of Roque with residents of the island made rounds on social media on Friday as netizens called him out for the “glaring” violation of quarantine rules.
The Palace official admitted that physical distancing was not followed but claimed that the rule may not be followed if people are wearing masks at an open-air venue.
Meanwhile, screenshots of alleged Instagram stories of Pacquaio’s wife Jinkee also went viral on social media showing the senator speaking to a crowd in Batangas that also did not observe physical distancing.
This was not the first time authorities were criticized for violating their own COVID-19 quarantine protocols.
Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas came under fire for a “mañanita” conducted during his birthday in May when he was still Metro Manila Police chief.
Although the investigation on the mañanita issue is still ongoing, President Duterte said he will pardon Sinas if he will be found guilty. / JE