By Aaron Recuenco
Police arrested on Sunday a barangay captain in Marantao town of Lanao del Sur for allegedly selling home quarantine passes to his constituents amid the strict measures being implemented nationwide to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Capt. Jemar de los Santos, spokesperson of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region police, said they carried out the operation following the complaint of one of the residents of Barangay Mantapoli about the modus of their barangay captain.
The barangay head, identified as Cassar Abinal, is now facing a criminal case related to extortion and an administrative case for defying the order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government that the passes should be free.
De los Santos said that at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, a team of policemen was sent to the barangay hall to verify the complaint of a resident.
“When the team arrived, they saw a [piece of ] bond paper posted at the entrance of the barangay hall that those who want to avail of the home quarantine pass should give P20,” De los Santos said.
Local officials pointed to Abinal as the brain behind the scheme of selling of quarantine passes as he is the signatory to the document.
The home quarantine pass is issued to one member of each family for them to leave their home to buy food and other essentials, and travel around the municipality for immediate reasons.
Abinal was taken to the police station for documentation.