Quezon City is contact-tracing the fans of game show host Wille Revillame who gathered en masse in front of Wil Tower to test them for COVID-19, the city hall announced yesterday.

The fans gathered in front of the tower, which Revillame used to own, on Wednesday because they believed false reports which said that the host would give away money in celebration of his 60th birthday. Hundreds of fans showed up, some of whom had even camped overnight on the street just to see him.

Members of the police and village watchmen had to disperse the crowd after they failed to observe social distancing. Many of them left by 3am on Thursday.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said that she had asked for a report from the police about the incident and added that she had instructed Revillame to enforce crowd control prior to the event. City Hall had already asked Revillame’s team to provide them with a list of people who appeared in front of Wil Tower so they could trace and test them for COVID.

Meanwhile, Revillame explained yesterday that he did not see his fans because he was forbidden to do so by the police, he said in his show Wowowin.

“I want to apologize, I’m so sorry, please understand, but we have to follow the law on social distancing,” he said in English and Filipino.

“I know you wanted to see me, I also wanted to see you, but I couldn’t go down [from the building]. I’m sorry. The police stopped me because something bad might happen [if I went to see you],” Revillame added.

Revillame became embroiled in controversy in 2006 when some 73 of his fans were killed in a stampede in front of the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. The fans, many of whom were jobless, were waiting to be ushered into the arena to watch his television show in the hopes of winning some cash. The crowd became agitated when they were reportedly told that only a few of them will be allowed to participate in one of the games. They rushed towards the arena’s gate, which caused the incident that left about 400 of them injured.