Thousands of people were apprehended and fined by personnel of the Quezon City government and police on Wednesday for violating health safety measures, including those who were not wearing face shields and those who supposedly took off their mask to wipe sweat from their face.
As of noontime, the local government said, around 3,200 individuals were already brought to the Quezon Memorial Circle after authorities launched a “One Time Big Time Operation” against violators which started around 8 a.m.
They were issued Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR) worth P300.
A day before the operation, at least 1.2 million face masks and 300,000 face shields were already distributed to indigent residents, including vendors and drivers, of the city’s 142 barangays.
Nanoy Rafael of Save Roque Alliance decried the operation as police personnel allegedly made a “sweep” of those in Sitio San Roque, including community pantry volunteers and drivers.
Rafael said among those apprehended were a pantry volunteer who took off his mask to wipe off his sweat after carrying vegetables, a pedicab driver who supposedly couldn’t afford to buy a face shield, and a taxi driver who took off his mask to eat, among others.
Mayor Joy Belmonte recently expressed concern over the “large number of health protocol violators.” Based on data of the Quezon City police, at least 825 individuals were arrested from May 6 to May 11, 7,600 were warned, while 7,886 were fined.
Belmonte assured the public that city authorities would “exercise maximum tolerance” in enforcing the law and “only those who resist, defy, or assault enforcers will be detained.”