QC official slammed for ‘Shoot to Kill’ threat on MECQ violators

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday slammed the head of the Quezon City Task Force for threatening to shoot to death violators of the modified enhanced community quarantine protocols (MECQ).

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

In her Twitter post, Hontiveros called on Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to act on the threats issued by Rannie Ludovica, QC Task Force Disiplina head on MECQ violators.

“As a QC resident for the last 35 years, I will personally work to hold this public official accountable for inciting violence versus civilians,” Hontiveros said.

“Sino ngayon ang terorista? Hindi tayo aatras sa pagpapaalala sa mga abusadong opisyales gaya nito na walang nalulutas sa dahas (who is now the terrorist? We will not stop in reminding abusive officials that nothing is resolved through violence),” the senator reminded.

The lawmaker stressed such move is unbecoming of a government official.

“Hindi tama ang konduktang ito mula sa isang opisyal ng gobyerno. Gawin natin ang trabaho natin nang walang pagbabanta ng patayan sa gitna ng pandemya. Hindi nakakatulong,” she stressed.

The government’s task force against COVID-19 has placed Metro Manila and other “hotspots” again under MECQ after President Duterte heeded the call of medical frontline workers to revert back to ECQ to arrest the increasing number of COVID cases in the country.

The number of COVID cases in the Philippines is now over 100,000. The Department of Health (DOH) said the cases rose to 106,330 after confirming 3, 226 new cases.

Meantime, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday insisted the shoot to kill threat of Ludovica to MGCQ violators is improper and illegal.

“We advise him to desist from issuing similar statements in the future,’’ said DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya in a statement.

While discipline is one of the preventive measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19, Malaya stressed that “this must be enforced within the bounds of the law’’.

He assured the public that “the DILG will not tolerate any possible abuse of authority on the part of law enforcement agencies or enforcement units of local government units (LGUs)’’.

Malaya pointed out that the penalties that will be imposed by the LGUs against quarantine violators must be within the bounds of their respective ordinances.

“We wish to assure the public that the QC Government led by Mayor Joy Belmonte has disowned the alleged FB post of Ludovica, saying that it should not be taken literally, if true, and that it was merely an expression of frustration over the growing number of violations in Quezon City,’’ Malaya noted.

But, Malaya emphasized that the LGUs’ department heads “must be circumspect in their social media posts since this may be mistaken by their constituents as official LGU policy’’.