NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO), which was tasked to look into the alleged health protocol violations committed by Halloween party-goers which included Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero and some of her close aides, has not yet submitted any report on the results of their investigation even if it’s already almost a month ago.
This was bared by Provincial Administrator Atty. Kathyrin Pioquin to during the virtual press briefing conducted by the Capitol on Friday when a follow-up was supposedly made by the provincial administrator with BPPO Chief P/Col. Joselito Clarito, regarding the progress of the police investigation.
Clarito informed the provincial administrator that police investigators have virtually hit a blank wall since almost all of the photographs and videos that were posted on social media which sparked public outrage over the Halloween party have since been removed by the ones who publicized the event.
The publication of the subject photos and videos on a social media site and the flurry of public criticism it generated prompted the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (B-IATF) to order an investigation on the incident.
According to Pioquinto, the BPPO has referred the investigation of said incident to the Anti-
Cybercrime Group of the PNP which is more equipped to investigate on the matter.
To recall, a group of Halloween revelers which surprisingly included the Panglao mayor sparked public criticism when photos and videos of the party on November 2 that was held at Amanzara Resort in Tawala, Panglao surfaced on social media.
Netizens were quick to comment on the impropriety of the gathering, although two of the party-goers explained to the Chronicle that the event was a private get-together among close friends and family and that it was not open to the public.
The photos which surfaced on social media showed Montero attending the party and most of the attendees were obviously violating minimum health standards – such as the observance of physical distance and the mandatory wearing of face mask.
Even when the B-IATF announced that the BPPO has been directed to conduct an investigation, Col. Clarito already indicated that their investigators are trying to get leads from possible witnesses of the incident as the photos and videos are no longer accessible on social media.
Although the province of Bohol has long been placed under the least restrictive classification of a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), social events that require mass gatherings, such as parties and feasts, are still prohibited.