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More BFP-Region VI employees relieved over alleged quarantine protocol breach in Boracay — Año

Aside from the Western Visayas fire chief, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday bared that he also ordered the relief of other Bureau of Fire Protection-Region VI personnel over the alleged breach of quarantine protocols in Boracay Island.

In a television interview, Año said a total of 28 fire personnel in Region VI were relieved from their respective posts pending investigation on the incident in which a BFP employee allegedly roamed the island while awaiting the result of her reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for COVID-19, which turned out to be positive.

“Well, a total of 28 personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection Region VI were relieved of their positions and of course they are undergoing quarantine. We have formed an investigation team that is coming from the headquarters of the Bureau of Fire Protection, they are going now to Iloilo to start the formal investigation," Año told ANC.

He said the BFP employees have been placed under floating status. He added that they would undergo RT/PCR testing for COVID-19.

"It will come out later what is the extent of the individuals' participation or accountability so that is why we have this investigation team," he said.

"Makikita natin dito kung ano 'yung accountability ng isa’t isa, whether it is command responsibility of the senior officers who participated and for the other officers, what are the extent... let's say for example there was a report that they've been drinking there or if they violated physical distancing while they are having their gathering," he added.

Due to the incident, Año said 24 staff of the hotel, where the fire personnel went, and about nine boatmen, who transported them, will also be placed under quarantine.

The DILG chief earlier ordered the relief of the BFP-Region VI chief Fire Senior Superintendent Roderick Aguto in Region VI.

BFP chief Director Jose Embang Jr. has formed a team to look into the supposed conference on Boracay Island.

However, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the involved staff had held not a conference but a “despedida party” in the island. —AOL, GMA News