Thirty-seven beachgoers in Talisay City who violated the Cebu Provincial Government's Executive Order No. 5-L-1 that prohibits gathering and frolicking in the beach and other bodies of water during the enhanced community quarantine were presented to Governor Gwendolyn Garcia last April 13, 2020.
The presentation of the violators formed part of the regular press conference of the governor. Garcia told those who apologized for their actions that she has forgiven them, but that their actions have legal consequences.
"Dili lang ni akong balaud. Sa Provincial Board ni nga gikauyonan sa 17 ka miyembro sa atong Hunta Probinsyal ug sa atong Vice Governor. Wala'y mi-object. Duna sad balaud nasyonal ani - ang Revised Penal Code Article 151. Maong ato ning ipatuman kay insulto kaayo sa nagpanday ining maong balaud kon dili nato ni seryosohon," Garcia underscored.
According to Talisay City Police Office Chief Major Gerard Pelare, there are 41 violators but four are minors who were earlier turned over to the city social welfare office.
Of the 37 remaining, five are from Dumlog, 13 from Candulawan, 14 from Tangke, and five from Cansojong.
Provincial Legal Officer Donato Villa, Jr. said that cases will be filed against them based on Article 151 or Disobedience to Authority which is one of the legal bases in the crafting and passing of Ordinance 2020-05.
Cases will be also be filed against netizens Rhea Ruth Rosell, a former reporter of Cebu Daily News and is now correspondent of the Manila Times, and a certain "Maria Lourdes" who uses a fake account but whose actual photos have already been captured by information technology experts.
Rosell bombarded her FB wall with posts against the Province’s prohibition on gathering and frolicking in seas and other bodies of water. But Rosell obviously has no knowledge that fishermen are allowed to go out to sea as they are essential in the food supply chain, as what a PB ordinance stated clearly.
She will be sued pursuant to Provincial Ordinance 2020-02 penalizing peddlers of fake news or circulating wrong information.
As for "Maria Lourdes," cyberlibel will be filed by the governor for questioning her "purchase of Cartier bangles." The netizen hinted maliciously that the bracelets are costly at $15,000 each for a governor's salary.
Garcia pointed out the bangles are a gift of a cousin, and that the rest of her pieces of jewelry are presents to her by her children.
Meanwhile, four persons in Barangay Potat, Tuburan will face separate charges for violating Executive Order 5-K that implements strict social distancing and personal hygiene.
The four were identified as Randy Caray, Ritchel Allego, Joseph Paglinawan, and Judel Caray. They were found to have posted on FB a drinking spree which mocked social distancing by putting the shot glass on a coconut palm as a serving arm. But they used a single glass.
The video was taken on March 10, but was uploaded on March 18. (Eleanor Valeros)