MANILA (UPDATE)– Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the relief of the regional director of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Region 6 after one of its staffers- who later tested positive for COVID-19-breached quarantine protocol along with 27 colleagues in attending a party in Boracay Island.
In a statement released Wednesday, Año said Fire Senior Supt. Roderick Aguto has been relieved from his post.
“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 (There's a pandemic and you cannot make excuses). Moreover, as law enforcers, we must set a good example to our people and the breach of quarantine protocols sets a very bad example,” he said.
In a statement later issued by BFP Region 6 public information officer Stephen Jardeleza, he said Aguto asked to be relieved after he was tagged in the issue of the breaching quarantine protocol.
Fire Senior Supt. Jerry Candido, the Director for Logistics of BFP-National Headquarters (NHQ), has been appointed as BFP officer-in-charge in the region.
Año has also ordered an investigation into the incident.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier confirmed that a BFP Region 6 staffer and her 27 co-workers held a "despedida party" in Boracay last week.
The said personnel later tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The group said they were attending a conference of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force from June 12 to 14 but the government body had already left the island by then, according to Puyat.
According to DILG, 196 BFP Region 6 personnel have undergone rapid testing as of Tuesday. Of this number, 28 were subjected to RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests and were advised to undergo quarantine pending results expected to be released on Friday, June 19.
The BFP 6 Regional Office, its provincial offices and fire stations in Iloilo City have been placed under lockdown.