CEBU Governor Gwendolyn Garcia tagged as “malicious” and “politically motivated” the release of a video showing a beach party in Camotes Islands that was allegedly attended by some politicians, including Cebu Representative Duke Frasco (5th District).
The video, which was uploaded online, showed some people not wearing face masks while partying. They also failed to observe physical distancing.
This prompted Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar to order on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) to look into it, as it may have been a super spreader event that contributed to a spike in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Camotes.
Garcia, however, said in an interview with SunStar it was “obviously malicious” and “there is obviously a motive.”
“The fact that this video surfaced only now from an anonymous sender, thus raised the question. First of all, it is obviously malicious and when it becomes malicious, there is obviously a motive, and what other motive can we think of, except that as the elections draw near, for some people, everything seems to be about politics,” she said.
She added that she does not think Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año will “appreciate the fact that they, whoever sent that, tried to fool him into thinking that this activity happened when Cebu has been placed under GCQ (general community quarantine).”
The video was taken last July 10, 2021, when Cebu Province, including Camotes, was under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Frasco is Garcia’s son-in-law.
CPPO Director Engelbert Soriano, for his part, said they have not yet received the PNP’s order.
Eleazar on Wednesday, August 18, did not name the politicians involved in the beach party, but a complaint was filed against Frasco, Mike Villamor and Provincial Board Member Red Duterte "for holding and leading a social party in the evening of July 10, 2021 at the Santiago Public Beach in Barangay Santiago."
The complaint, dated August 13, was sent by an anonymous person to DILG Cebu Provincial Office Director Jhoaden Lucero. It alleged that the event may have "caused or contributed" to the spike in Covid-19 cases on the island.
It further alleged that the event was held without clearance from the municipality and the barangay. The organizers also allegedly tapped illegally into a power line. (MVE/With TPM of SunStar Philippines/LMY)