PALARONG Pambansa 2019 organizers denied a report that circulated on Wednesday, April 24, saying that some delegates and athletes from Ilocos Region were involved in a bus accident, of which majority were dead.
Department of Education (DepEd)-Davao spokesperson Jenelito Atillo said Thursday, April 25, that all Ilocos Region athletes, coaches and even the driver safely arrived in Davao City.
Atillo said he also received the text message.
"As far as I know, niabot ang atoang atleta last weekend pa, April 20, wherein gisugat pa sila sa mga organizers (As far as I know, the delegates already arrived last weekend, April 20), wherein event organizers even welcomed them upon arrival)," he said during the iSpeak media forum at the City Hall of Davao.
Atillo said the report allegedly came from the 73rd Infantry Brigade, situated in Malita, Davao Occidental.
"If athletes from Ilocos Region or Cagayan Valley for that matter will be coming to Davao City by bus, they will be no longer pass by Malita," he said.
Atillo said all 17 regional delegations are already in the city to participate in the Palaro, originally slated on Saturday, April 27, but was moved on Sunday, April 28, due to inavailability of important key speakers.
Meanwhile, he said delegates who wish to stay longer in the city to roam around and visit tourist spots must sign a waiver that states that they will not join the delegation in returning home.
The head organizer said in a way, in case of emergency, organizers will no longer be liable.
"The way we operate things is that the allotted schedule should be followed. By May 4, everyone should be leaving the city," Atillo said.
Assistant city administrator for operations Lawrence Bantiding, meanwhile, said no delegation expressed their intention of staying in the city after Palaro.