QC LGU calls on public to be ‘wary’ of false claims about warrantless arrests

Published July 20, 2020, 2:36 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The local government of Quezon City (QC) has called on the public to be “wary of a post circulating on social media” regarding “indiscriminate” arrests on quarantine violators.

The advisory was posted on the city’s Facebook page on Monday (July 20) after some “false” claims were allegedly circulated following the issuance of guidelines by Mayor Joy Belmonte on the “warrantless arrest” of quarantine violators in the city in a memorandum dated July 13, 2020.

“Following the standard format of black propaganda, this alarmist post includes numerous points that are blatantly false, combined with misleading distortions of the truth,” the local government described such claims.

Among those that the authorities wanted to clarify are its rules on wearing face masks, curfew hours, and alcohol restrictions.

“Mask violations—while QC mandates that masks should be worn in public areas and work places, there is nothing mentioned about masks in cars,” the local government said.

“Inflexible curfew regulations—QC does not arrest people if they ‘miss curfew by a few seconds.’ This is a gross and senseless exaggeration,” it added.

The local government also said the consumption of liquor in “private residence” is allowed as it is under the city’s ordinance.

QC officials made clarifications as well that its prohibition against mass gathering is in compliance with the guidelines provided by the national government.

They also defended their rules against those who resist arrest and parents who neglect their responsibilities to their minor children.

They noted this is part of the national law.

“Due to the relaxation of certain quarantine protocols, the city government felt the need to publish guidelines on the proper and legal procedures in effecting arrests, should they become necessary,” the local government explained.

It added: “To be clear, there will be no deviation from the existing enforcement policy and arrests shall only be made in rare and extreme circumstances.”

Mayor Joy Belmonte, in an interview with ANC on Monday, assured the public that there is nothing to be afraid of as the intent of coming up with guidelines is, in fact, “precisely to prevent [the] abuse of power.”

“Any abuses done while enforcing national and city safeguard measures shall be dealt with severely, and prosecuted to the utmost extent of the law,” the local government said.