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“… be the eyes and ears” of the govt Lolo tells cultural leaders

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga
Help stem the spread of COVID-19

Pago Pago, AMAERICAN SAMOA — With allegations of bingo games and large family gatherings still occurring in the community, despite the governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has implored Secretary of Samoan Affairs, Mauga T. Asuega, “to please lean on pulenu’u and fa’alupegas (county chiefs) to take ownership of their individual responsibility to supplement” efforts of Public Safety in enforcing the declaration.

Among the prohibitions under the declaration, is a ban on public gathering including, but not limited to bingo games, and cultural activities — large family events. Private family gatherings are limited to less than 10 people.

“Reports of bingos, family gatherings, and other activities going on in villages” that violates provisions of the declaration “is very disconcerting indicating the pulenu’us are not performing their duties to help the Department of Public Safety compel compliance by all residents of American Samoa,” Lolo wrote in a letter yesterday to Mauga.

The governor notes that COVID-19 is a deadly disease thus, it is “imperative and necessary that we, as officials of the government as well as village leaders, should take the lead” to make sure that no one among local residents would fall victim of this virus.

“All the pulenu’u does is to report violators to the police and they will apprehend the person or persons defying the declaration,” Lolo explained. “They are the eyes and ears of the government in their respective villages.”

According to the governor, the pulenu’us should also be “looking out for individuals who might show signs of the coronavirus.”

Copies of the letter were also sent to the Attorney General’s Office and Police Commissioner.