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BFP probing despedida party for ex-Batangas fire marshall

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Monday confirmed that it had launched an investigation into a big “despedida” party for a former Batangas City fire marshall.

According to Cedric Castillo’s report on “24 Oras,” a party was thrown for then outgoing Batangas City Fire Marshall Elaine Evangelista on August 21 at a hotel and restaurant in the area.

The event was attended by personnel of the Batangas City fire station who were caught on camera dancing without masks nor social distancing.

“Ongoing na po ang investigation against them. Noong August 26 kasi, nagpadala na ng memo ang Civil Service [Commission] at ang DILG kay Secretary Eduardo Año about nga itong nangyaring despedida dito,” BFP chief Director Jose Embang Jr. said.

“Ito pong video… in fact, ngayon ko lang nakita ‘yon e. Pero sa nakita ko, identity ito ng mga tao, sila nga ‘yon. Kasi nakita sa aming record lang ay pictures e. Makakatulong po ito,” he added.

Evangelista was selected as the new chief of the Biñan, Laguna fire station but her appointment was rescinded following the controversy.

“Binigyan ko ng instruction ‘yung regional director ng Region IV-A na i-relieve na siya immediately effective today,” Embang said.

“Ito ay against sa norms, sa protocol po natin sa IATF at even sa ating BFP. Nag-issue kasi tayo ng mga warning na hindi na sila dapat gumagawa ng mga ganyang activity,” he added.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government had not commented on the matter but, in a memorandum to the BFP, described the party as a “blatant violation” of safety protocols.

Evangelista has yet to respond to GMA News’ requests for comment. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News