MANILA :Malacañang remains uncertain whether President Rodrigo Duterte can participate in the commemoration of Independence Day on June 12 (Friday).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the celebration of Independence Day, limiting the number of participants to 10.
Quizzed as to whether Duterte would lead the 122nd Independence Day celebration, Roque said he has yet to check the President’s activities on Friday.
“We’re checking po kasi binigyan po ng permiso ng IATF na magkaroon ng celebration sa Luneta (because the IATF permitted the celebration [of Independence Day] in Luneta) but limited to 10 people only,” Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.
Independence Day will be commemorated amid the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Philippines’ independence from Spain was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 at the ancestral house of the first Philippine president, Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite.
Duterte in 2019 led the celebration of 121st Independence Day with the military at the 6th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
In 2018, Duterte delivered his first keynote speech for Independence Day at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite.
Duterte is in Davao City and is expected to stay in his hometown for the next few days to hold “official functions.”
Roque said Duterte is scheduled to meet with IATF-EID members in Davao City on Thursday to discuss the imposition of a more relaxed community quarantine nationwide.
“I can confirm that the next meeting with the President on Thursday will be in Davao,” he said.
Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City, Davao City, Albay, Cebu City, and Mandaue City are placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) until June 15 to arrest the spread of Covid-19.
Modified GCQ (MGCQ), on the other hand, is implemented in the rest of the country.
Mass gatherings for religious purposes or work conference are allowed in placed where MGCQ is enforced, provided that participants are limited to “50 percent of the seating or venue capacity.”
(PNA/ Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/ SRNY/ RSP)