Guevarra: Relief ops are encouraged but must secure LGU OK

Published May 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday reminded groups who intend to conduct relief operations to secure the approval of local governments units (LGUs) first.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra announces during a press briefing in Malacañang that the matter concerning the closure of the resorts in Boracay is currently one of the top priorities that are being discussed by the cabinet citing that it would not only concern the environmental aspect of the issue but the economic impact as well. (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

“Non-government volunteer operations to provide relief goods to people in need are encouraged, provided prior authorization has been secured from the local government concerned and IATF guidelines on community quarantines are strictly observed,” Guevarra, a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said.

Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada was arrested and eventually set free in San Juan City last Sunday, May 3, while distributing fish to residents in Barangay Salapan.

Estrada’s family has been conducting relief operations in the city through the Misyon Foundation of his daughter, Janella.

San Juan Police chief Col. Jaime Santos said the former senator was invited by the police over alleged violations of quarantine protocols and his failure to observe social distancing during the relief operation.

The police decided not to pursue any charges and released Estrada who was only given a “stern warning.”

Estrada, a former mayor of the city, accused San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamaro for ordering the arrest.

“At any rate, unfortunately, this is all about politics,” he said.

Zamora, however, said he had no hand in the arrest of Estrada.

“The arrest of Mr. Jinggoy Estrada has nothing to do with politics in San Juan but has everything to do with law and order, especially so now that we are collectively fighting this global pandemic,” the local chief executive said.