By Billy Begas
A complaint was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron and three others over alleged violation of COVID-19 health protocols.
The complaint claimed that the City Government of Puerto Princesa authorized the Balayong Fun Ride and Acacia Tunnel Lighting on March 7 despite the increasing COVID-19 cases in the city.
On February 19, the Puerto Princesa City Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 issued Resolution 26 series of 2021 placing identified critical zones within the city under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and the surrounding areas under Modified ECQ.
Despite this, the complainants claimed that the Balayong Fun Ride and Acacia Tunnel Lighting were allegedly organized by Judith Bayron while the Puerto Princesa City Incident Management Team (IMT) headed by Dr. Dean Palanca allegedly recommended that the events be held on March 7, a day after the expiration of Resolution 26.
“The activities were attended by thousands of participants by estimate and per the city IMT head, admittedly resulting in overcrowding and non-observance of social distancing protocols. Certainly, the activity was a superspreading event,” the six-page complaint filed by Concern Residents of Palawan read.
Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairperson Abraham Mitra was included in the complaint for allegedly violating minimum public health protocols. Mitra tested positive for COVID-19 on March 16.
The complainants said that after participating in Acacia Tunnel Lighting event, Mitra went to several events from March 8 to 12.
“Inevitably, days after the event, the city of Puerto Princesa has suffered a surge of COVID-19 cases, even prompting City IATF to issue resolution No. 33 s.2021 to implement stricter protocols to contain the spread of infection,” the complaint further read.