The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered an investigation on a duathlon race in Candaba, Pampanga, allegedly held with no required permits.
DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Secretary Eduardo Año ordered Friday the Candaba LGU and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to probe the incident over the event’s supposed violation of IATF protocols and Provincial Ordinance 756, in relation to RA 11332.
“The public is reminded that all forms of mass gatherings, especially this holiday season, is strictly prohibited under IATF regulations because of the high risk of community transmission,” Malaya said.
“We urge them to file the necessary charges and impose the appropriate penalties against the organizers based on the result of the investigation,” he added.
DILG said TEAMBRO, led by Sunny Pantua, organized the duathlon on December 6. DILG found out that the organizers did not get the necessary permit from the Municipal Government of Candaba.
Pantua earlier claimed that the local government gave him verbal approval, but he apologized to IATF for holding the event. “Sa IATF
kami muli taos-pusong humihingi ng paumanhin sa mga nalabag namin. Alam ko, marami kaming naging, nalabag o naging pagkukulang.”
Meanwhile, Candaba Mayor Rene Maglanque earlier denied Pantua’s claims and said he only knew the duathlon after receiving reports that some residents watched. The 110 participants paid a P1,300 registration fee.
Mgalangue added he then ordered the Candaba Police to stop the duathlon from proceeding.
The DILG said social media posts showed spectators and participants violating physical distancing. There were also those who did not wear face masks and face shields.
DILG also received reports that some of the participants who came from other provinces did not get mandatory medical certificates and travel authority from the PNP.
A duathlon is an athletic event that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg, and then another running leg in a format similar to triathlons