By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang has called on law enforcers and barangay officials to always keep the law in mind when implementing the strict quarantine restrictions and reminded them that they will be punished if they go overboard.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after a video of Quezon City authorities mauling and dragging a fish vendor after failing to wear a face mask and bring his quarantine pass became viral.
In an interview over GMA-7, Roque appealed to quarantine enforcers to be mindful that their actions have consequences.
“Nananawagan po ako sa lahat ng ating mga tagapagpatupad ng ECQ, kailangan po gawin natin ‘yan sang-ayon sa batas (I call on those implementing the ECQ that we should do it based on what the law says),” he said Wednesday.
“Naniniwala naman po ako na yung mga nagkakamali ay didisiplinahin ng kanya-kanyang mga lokal na pamahalaan (I believe that those who do wrong will be disciplined by their respective local government units),” he added.
In the video, four masked men were seen dragging a crying and screaming fish vendor identified as Michael Rubuia towards an L300 van while another man kept hitting him with a wooden stick.
According to Roque, he has seen the viral video and he was assured by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte that an investigation was already ongoing.
“It will be impartial, it will be fair, and the proper punishment will be meted in case there’s a violation on the part of barangay officials,” he said in another interview on ANC.
Roque said law enforcers should also use their common sense when manning the checkpoints.
Another viral video circulated showing a delivery van carrying oxygen tanks that was barred from exiting a checkpoint in Zytec Riosa Compound in Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City on Sunday despite showing their quarantine passes and relevant government permits.
A certain Noel Talon was heard saying: “Eh, ‘di mamatay (Then the patient will die)!”
Roque said those manning the checkpoints should know by now that it will always be a case-to-case basis.
“Bagama’t alam po natin ang mga panuntunan ay kinakakailangan naman po meron tayong case-to-case basis (Even though we know that there are guidelines, we should know there is case-to-case basis),” he said.
“Yung mga nangangailangan ng atensyong medikal ay palusutin na po natin. Gamitan naman natin ng common sense (We should let those seeking medical attention pass the checkpoints. We should use our common sense),” he added.