Mayors are duty-bound to implement laws or ordinances enacted by the local council with or without orders from the President, Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco said Friday.
Tiangco made the remark after President Duterte recently issued an order to arrest those who are not wearing face masks properly, which alarmed human rights advocates.
“In Navotas, there is really an ordinance na pinagbabawal ‘yung hindi pagsuot ng face mask, ‘yung hindi pagsunod sa social distancing (that prohibits the non-wearing of face masks and the non-observance of social distancing). So dahil may ordinansang ganyan, katungkulan po ng executive branch of the local government na ipagpatupad po ito (Since we have such ordinance, the local government’s executive branch is responsible for implementing it),” he said in ANC interview.
“Kapag may batas o ordinansa dapat ipatupad ‘yan whether or not may order ang Pangulo (If there’s a law or an ordinance, it should be implemented whether there’s an order from the President or not),” he added.
While human rights advocates expressed alarm over the recent pronouncement of the President, Tiangco said he is okay with that as long as those enforcing ordinances comply with the provisions.
“Kaya nga ang paalala namin lagi doon sa mga enforcers is strictly adhere to the ordinance. Wag kayo mag-imbento ng sarili nyong patakaran (That’s why we always remind our enforcers to strictly adhere to the ordinance. Don’t invent your own rules),” he said.
“Kahit maganda ang inyong intension, it’s not the time. Ang kailangan eh sundin n’yo ang ordinasa to the letter. Kasi pag iniba n’yo ‘yung parusa, mananagot kayo agad dyan. Hindi katulad pag susunod sila kung ano ‘yung nasa ordinansa, lagi kayong nasa tama (Although they have good intention in making up their own rules, it’s not time. They should follow the ordinance to the letter. Because if they change the punishment and something happens, they should be responsible for that, unlike when they follow the provisions, they will always be right),” he added.
Aside from arresting quarantine violators, Duterte also told police to “detain” them and “investigate” them why they are committing violations.