Just because numerous restrictions in place throughout the country on account of preventing the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus have been gradually relaxing over the past several weeks, does not mean the overall atmosphere is completely relaxed now. One needs only look at the constantly updated numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines to understand the gravity of consequences for those who risk flouting the long-established health and safety protocols. Depending on where a mistake took place, the perpetrators could see some heavy-handedness from the local governments if they disregard the global pandemic’s presence in the nation.

It is therefore not surprise as according to The Philippine Star the provincial government of Ilocos Sur gave the courtesy equivalent of a shoo to three comedians that recently visited the area and refused to follow regulations on traveler quarantine. Gene Padilla, Long Mejia and Dagul were all declared “persona non grata” in the province by order of Ilocos Sur governor Ryan Luis Singson as a result of their entering without advance notice and not hewing to the local health and safety protocols for COVID.

The report goes that Mejia, Dagul and Padilla tried to enter Ilocos Sur on Sunday, July 19, which was problematic as they did not advise the LGU of their intention to hold a show without government sanction at the municipality of Santo Domingo. When they were accosted at the provincial border checkpoint the three comedy actors also failed to abide by mandatory quarantine period for all who would enter Ilocos Sur, even going so far as to attempt running past the checkpoint, at which point they were arrested. A case was filed by the Santo Domingo Police against the trio for breaking R.A. 11332 (Procedures on Surveillance and Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Health Concern).

While Dagul, Long Mejia and Gene Padilla were place in custody, Gov. Singson called on the Ilocos Sur provincial board to pass a resolution declaring the comedians as persona non grata for their unsanctioned event and refusal to follow regulations. None of the three actors involved has given a statement explaining their prior actions. Gene, Dagul and Long were temporarily released Tuesday, July 21 after finishing inquest proceedings and health triage for COVID-19. A local family that had given accommodations to them was mandatorily quarantined.

Image from GMA News

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