Netizens point out Pacquiao, PNP officials 'forgot' social distancing in photo op


Posted at Mar 18 2020 07:06 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2020 07:26 PM

Sen. Manny Pacquaio and PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar shake hands during a turn-over ceremony at Camp Crame in Quezon City, March 17, 2020. PNP Public Information Office

MANILA (UPDATE) - Despite stringent rules on social distancing, it appeared that Sen. Manny Pacquiao and officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) stood too close to each other as they posed for a photo during a turn-over ceremony Tuesday.

Pacquiao was at Camp Crame, the police force's headquarters in Quezon City, to turn over 200,000 pieces of face masks for PNP frontliners, according to a post from the PNP Public Information Office.


PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar received the mask for PNP frontliners, based on the post.

Netizens, however, pointed out that during the ceremony, Pacquiao and the officials did not practice social distancing, among measures government has been enforcing under the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Under social distancing, people must keep distance from each other when out in public. 

"Too late, you forgot social distancing," said one netizen in the post's comment section.

"Thanks, Manny... pero asan [na 'yong] social distancing?" said another.

The turn-over ceremony also pushed through despite the prohibition on public gatherings.

In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Eleazar said he tried to keep a distance from other people at the event.

"Lumalayo nga ako (I was keeping distance). If you can observe, lagi akong nasa likuran (I was always at the back) and always saying to observe social distancing," he said.

"I never removed my mask even during my speech and media interview," he added. -- With a report from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News