Robredo camp takes full responsibility for breach of health protocol at Quebec rally

Quezon City LGU says ‘Pink Sunday’ gathering ‘violated several mutually agreed restrictions’

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of presidential candidate and vice-president Leni Robredo took “full responsibility” for breaking health protocol at the Quezon City rally that drew thousands of “Kakampinks” at the height of the pandemic.

On Sunday, February 13, Robredo spokesman Barry Gutierrez apologized to the Quezon City Local Government Unit (LGU) led by Mayor Joy Belmonte, even though the event was technically hosted by the Kyusi 4 Leni, a group of volunteers mobilizing for Robredo in the country’s biggest vote. – rich city.

“We acknowledge the concerns of the Quezon City government, express our thanks for their vigilance, and take full responsibility,” Gutierrez said.

Robredo’s spokesperson apologized after Quezon City LGU issued a “reminder” claiming that the “Pink Sunday” gathering “violated several mutually agreed restrictions”.

“Although crowd control is a very complicated aspect of large gatherings, it is a test of discipline for organizers and participants to show that the candidates they have chosen respect the laws of the land,” said the LGU. of Quezon City in its statement.

“We hope that in the future, all coordinators will take this responsibility more seriously,” the statement added.

Quezon City is currently under the more relaxed Alert Level 2, which allows public gatherings to be held under certain conditions.

Prior to the event, organizers’ posts and announcements about the “Pink Sunday” rally at Quezon Memorial Circle were filled with reminders that only fully vaccinated people could attend. Minimum public health standards must also be strictly adhered to.

But it became impossible for organizers and city authorities to control the crowds following the influx of participants who flocked to Quezon Memorial Circle.

The Quezon City Police District said 7,000 people joined the event, but Robredo herself said more than 20,000 showed up.

The stage was set up inside the covered courtyard of Liwasang Aurora, where seating and public access were limited. But the rest of Robredo’s supporters still gathered on the grounds of Quezon Memorial Circle to get a glimpse of the lone presidential candidate.

Gutierrez noted them in his apology, then assured the Quezon City LGU that the campaign team would take the necessary steps to ensure stricter compliance at future events.

“While the organizers have assured that access to the immediate surroundings of the program itself is limited and that all participants are advised to bring vaccination cards and respect health protocols, the number of people arriving was a challenge, for which we apologize,” Gutierrez said.

“Rest assured that the campaign is taking steps to ensure stricter compliance with all applicable regulations in the future,” he added.

Before Robredo met her supporters at Quezon Memorial Circle, she first had a brief encounter with Belmonte and other officials at City Hall.

Most of the counselors who showed up wore pink. Belmonte wore a rosy red top, but still did not support any presidential candidate.

Belmonte’s ally and vice-mayor, Gian Sotto, is the son of vice-presidential candidate and Senate president Vicente Sotto, whose flag bearer is Senator Panfilo Lacson.

A few days ago, Gian Sotto said that Belmonte “supports” the Lacson-Sotto tandem, but she still hasn’t given his full endorsement.

In the 2016 vice-presidential race, Robredo lost in this city with 297,999 votes to Marcos’ 412,681. Rodrigo Duterte, then mayor of Davao City, who repeatedly downplayed Robredo’s ability to lead, was also elected president of Quezon City in 2016.

Fast forward six years later, Marcos is now backed by Quezon City mayoral candidate and Anakalusugan representative Mike Defensor, Mayor Joy Belmonte’s nemesis in his bid for re-election. – Rappler.com

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