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3:54 pm on 14 February 2022, Monday
Barry Gutierrez, Vice President Leni Robredo's spokesperson, apologized to the Quezon City local government unit (LGU) led by Mayor Joy Belmonte on Sunday, Feb. 13, for health protocol violations during a campaign rally in Quezon Memorial Circle.
According to Gutirrez, the event was thoroughly organized by the Kyusi 4 Leni, a volunteer organization in Quezon City, preparing assemblies for the lone female presidential candidate.
"We acknowledge the concerns of the Quezon City Government, extend our thanks for its vigilance, and take full responsibility," the spokesperson said.
The Quezon City LGU issued a reminder stating that the "Pink Sunday" rally disobeyed several regulations. Gutierrez issued an apology afterward.
"While crowd control is a highly complicated aspect of large gatherings, it is a test of discipline for the organizers and attendees to show that their chosen candidates observe the laws of the land," the Quezon City LGU said in a statement.
The LGU hopes that all coordinators will take responsibility more seriously.
While Quezon City is under Alert Level 2, public gatherings and events are allowed under several circumstances.
Before the event, the organizers announced that only fully vaccinated individuals could participate in the said event. On top of that, public health standards must be strictly observed. However, the crowd became uncontrollable due to the surge of attendees who gathered for the event.
According to the Quezon City Police District, the gathering drew 7,000 people, although Robredo claimed that more than 20,000 showed up.
"While the organizers ensured that access to the immediate vicinity of the program proper was limited and that all attendees were advised to bring vaccination cards and observe health protocols, the sheer number of people that arrived was a challenge, for which we apologize," Gutierrez stated.
Guiterrez assured that the campaign would take complete responsibility to ensure compliance moving forward.