By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang asked those who want to give assistance to the families affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to ensure that quarantine protocols will be followed.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after former Senator Jinggoy Estrada was arrested and eventually set free by the San Juan Police for supposedly violating the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) regulations.
In his Monday press briefing, Roque said it is important for individuals or groups wanting to help the public to get in touch with LGUs to ensure physical distancing.
“Nakikiusap po kami doon sa nais magkawanggawa, makipag-coordinate po tayo sa LGUs para doon po sa ayuda sa ating mga kababayan (We ask those who want to do charity work to coordinate with LGUs),” he said.
“Kailangan naman po magkaroon ng safeguards nang hindi po magkumpol-kumpulan at dagsain kayo ng mga taumbayan. Kinakailangan magkaroon ng mga hakbang para masiguro ang social distancing habang namimigay ng ayuda (There have to be safeguards so people won’t crowd. There are steps to be followed to ensure that there will be physical distancing during the relief operations),” he added.
According to Estrada, the police told him that he violated certain ECQ provisions, particularly the strict implementation of physical distancing. The former Senator insisted that his arrest was the result of politics.
Estrada’s daughter Janella lost to San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora in the 2019 midterm polls.
Roque refused to comment on the incident and appealed to the public to set aside politics during the country’s fight against COVID-19.
“Pinapaubaya na po namin ‘yan sa mga nag-e-enforce ng ECQ diyan po sa San Juan (We leave it to the ones enforcing the ECQ in San Juan City),” he said.
“Ang panawagan po ng Presidente sa buong sambayanan, isantabi po muna natin ang politika habang nandito ang krisis sa COVID-19 (The President’s appeal to everybody is to set aside politics while we are still facing the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.