Police chief Gamboa: No party, just 'dinner' in Baguio

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa denied rumors that he held a party accompanied by a small concert in his cottage in Baguio City.

In a statement on Sunday, August 16, Gamboa said he only had a "dinner" that ended at 9:30 pm. (READ: LOOK: Birthday salu-salo for NCRPO chief Sinas amid ECQ)

“There is no truth to the allegations spreading on social media. For the record, there were only 3 vehicles, which is less than the PNP chief security protocol. All of us went through the triage as per the City of Baguio’s regulations,” Gamboa said in the statement.

Viral posts

Gamboa was reacting to social media posts that went viral saying he had partied in his cottage at the Navy base in Baguio City, thus violating quarantine rules against mass gatherings.

Of the supposed one dinner, Gamboa said they followed physical distancing measures. He also argued that he informed Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong of their "activities."

Gamboa did not explain why his travel to Baguio City is justified or classified as essential. He is set to retire on September 2. Traditionally, he would be honored with a parade at the Philippine Military Academy, but he said it was canceled due to the pandemic.

In a briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang would ask Gamboa to explain what took place. He said he could not comment on what happened without knowing details, but added Baguio City was on a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) where gatherings of up to 50% were allowed. 

"We will check with General Gamboa if there was such a party. If there was a party, we will ask for an explanation although Baguio City is under MGCQ ha, not MECQ. In MGCQ, up to 50% capacity is allowed if I'm not mistaken... But we will see. In the first place I cannot comment because I don't know if there was really a party in Baguio," Roque said in a mix of English and Filipino. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.