Local chief executives must also be informed ahead of time regarding the activities of law enforcers in their respective cities so they will know what to do once the latter’s operations get botched.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte raised the idea on Friday following a bloody misencounter among agents of police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that led not only to deaths but also to “damage to properties,” “panic,” and “heavy traffic in the area.”
“Sana man lang bago mangyari ang mga operations ay magbigay alam sila sa ating local governments, lalong lalo na sa alkalde ng lungsod para man lang hindi tayo nabubulaga, hindi po tayo na nabubulaga ‘pag may nangyayari na di kasama sa plano (I hope that before operations, they inform the local governments, especially the mayors so we will not be taken by surprise if something unprecedented happens),” Belmonte told reporters in an interview as she met with members of various agencies regarding the incident.
The mayor issued the demand as she also said, many individuals were blaming her for various problems that arose following the encounter, including the standstill traffic.
“What if there were those who had emergency who were stuck in traffic?” she asked.
“Maraming mga taong stuck in traffic for hours, malay mo kung may emergency cases dito. Hindi man lang nila naisip na sana may mag manage ng traffic para magkaron ng alternative routes (Many were stuck in traffic for hours. We never knew if there was an emergency situation that time. No one taught to manage the traffic to have alternative routes),” she added.
Belmonte added she “wants to know why there are operatives in public places because if something goes wrong or their operations get botched, then innocent lives could be at stake.”
“Ito rin sana gusto i-raise sa meeting. Are we accountable, itong mga innocent bypassers, mga grab drivers [na natamaan ang mga sasakyan]. Buti walang innocent na tao na natamaan (This is what we want to raise in the meeting. Are we accountable that innocent lives, vehicles are affected? Good thing no innocent individual was hit). Who should be accountable?” the mayor added.
Belmonte pointed out that “these all affect the city’s safety” and it is their “right to know.”