Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday sacked the Bureau of Fire Protection Western Visayas (BFP-6) director over the recent “Despedida” party incident in Boracay.
According to Año, Fire Senior Superintendent Jerry Candido, the director for logistics of the BFP National Headquarters would temporarily replace Fire Senior Superintendent Roderick Aguto.
“We will never tolerate any wrongdoing by our BFP personnel or any other DILG personnel for that matter because lives are at stake here. Panahon ng pandemya ngayon at hindi puwede ang mga palusot. Moreover, as law enforcers, we must set a good example to our people and the breach of quarantine protocols sets a very bad example,” Año said.
He also tasked BFP Chief Jose Embang to create a special investigation task group that would immediately probe the party attended by 28 BFP personnel, including a COVID-19 positive employee.
Reports said that as of Tuesday, 196 BFP Region 6 personnel underwent a rapid antibody test. Of that number, 28 were subjected to RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) and were placed under quarantine until Friday, June 19.
Aklan acting mayor Frolibar Bautista earlier said the COVID-positive employee, together with other BFP staff, attended a conference in Boracay from June 12 to 14.
According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, a group of BFP personnel arrived in Boracay on June noon.
They were able to enter the island because they would attend at the Boracay inter-agency task force’s conference there. This is even though the secretaries and task force have left the island.
BFP checked in at the hotel for two nights and even held a Despedida party.
While in Boracay, a BFP personnel found out that she was positive for COVID-19.
“Ang nakakagalit ay alam naman nila na bawal at nagsabi pa na kasama daw namin eh umalis na kami noon. 24 silang pumunta. Bawal ‘yon,” said Puyat.
(What’s annoying is they know it is prohibited and they even said they were included in the conference, but we already left. They are 24 who went there. It’s not permitted.)