By Chito Chavez
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary for Operation Affairs Martin Diño said on Wednesday (April 29) that barangay officials should not resort to violent acts against quarantine violators.
Stressing the need to exercise maximum tolerance, Diño reminded them that even hardened criminals, much more quarantine violators, have rights.
Diño said barangay tanods (village security officers) may only resort to force in self-defense or when their lives are in danger.
The reminder was issued after a series of clashes between the law enforcers and the public occurred after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was imposed.
Last Sunday, a Spanish national and resident of posh Dasmariñas Village in Makati City figured in an altercation with a police officer after his housemaid who was watering the plants was asked to wear a face mask.
The resident resented the cop’s order, leading to a shouting match and physical confrontation.
The Damariñas Village incident came soon after four cops went to the poolside of a high-end private condominium on Sunday in Taguig City and requested the people there to return to their units for violating ECQ regulations.
It escalated into a controversy when a foreigner and the uniformed men engaged in a shouting match.
According to Pacific Plaza Towers management, what the cops did sowed fear among the residents, including the children.
Only recently, viral videos showed several Task Force Disiplina personnel in Quezon City dragging fish vendor Michael Rubuia, 38, for not having a quarantine pass and face mask while selling fish on Panay Avenue on Monday.
Former Quezon City Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica, head of the city’s Task Force Disiplina, insisted his men used reasonable force in arresting the fish vendor, who violently reacted after being questioned for violating quarantine protocols last Monday.
Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar urged the public to simply follow quarantine protocols to avoid any unnecessary confrontation.