President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the public on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at Matina Enclaves in Davao City on June 4, 2020. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


President Rodrigo Duterte said the ban on motorcycle “backriding” in Cebu remains, despite an executive order allowing one passenger was signed by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

“Much as I would like really to accommodate Governor Garcia and the board members, here’s what I can say, if I begin to give an exemption to one … I will open myself to charges [under the] Anti-Graft Law giving another an undue advantage,” Duterte said in a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Davao City on Thursday.

The meeting was broadcast on Friday morning over state television.

READ: Cebu governor allows motorcycle ‘backriding’

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also clarified that backriding, even for family members, remained prohibited under the prevailing general community quarantine.

“Yes, naiintindihan po natin ‘yung hirap. Pero sa — base po sa panuntunan ng DOH ‘yung minimum health standards na physical distancing, napakahirap i-practice sa motor. At kahit sabihin natin na sila ay mag-asawa o magkapatid, pero ang virus ay walang pinipili kung mag-asawa,” Año said.

The interior chief added that social distancing should be practiced at home, as physical contact even between family members broadens the virus’ transmission networks.

“So ito naman po ay hindi forever. Darating naman tayo sa bagong normal kung saan may mga zero cases talaga na, pupuwede nating i-allow. Pero sa community quarantine natin ngayon puwede natin makita sa data analytics kung saan pa may mga cases,” Año said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro