Duterte tells LGU officials to enforce laws against quarantine violators
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday directed local chief executives to implement laws against those who will breach the health protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to a report by GMA News.
In a televised briefing, the Chief Executive said this as he expressed dismay over the continued spread of the disease.
"Ako tumitingin lang sa at the distance as I don't want to be strict about it because it is technically a crime at all. Naging krimen lang yan dahil kung ayaw mo maniwala. There is a word na spreader. Nagiispray ka ng sakit so we have to protect other people from getting sick so we impose rules," Duterte said.
"Rules are there and you do not follow, well, let me tell you, under the police power of the state, ang mayor, ang barangay captain, because they are persons of authority. Ang guidance binibigay sa police because the supervision belongs to the mayor," the President added.
Duterte ordered the mayors to be responsible over their constituents to make sure that health protocols are being followed.
"Ang gawin ko ganito, I will hold responsible and I will direct the Secretary of the Local Government, DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) to hold the mayors responsible for this kind of events happening in their places," Duterte said.
"It is a violation of the law and if you don’t enforce the law there is a dereliction of duty which is punishable under the Revised Penal Code so the police can enforce against you for not doing your duty as mayor and barangay captain," he added.
He also warned barangay officials that authorities will hold them liable for mass gathering in their areas amid the strict implementation of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
"Itong mga barangay captain ang may problema kasi maliit lang ang mga barangay do not give me this s--- na hindi ko alam. So the local government will go after you administratively and criminally kapag may nangyari pang pistahan diyan ang tawagin ng DILG, ang mayor pati, barangay captain and then he will proceed to enforce the law," the tough-talking President said.
In Malolos, a fiesta was held amid the imposition of MECQ, which restricts unnecessary travel and bans mass gathering.
As of Wednesday, the Philippine government recorded a total of 1,020,495 COVID-19 infections. Of the number, 935,695, recovered from the illness while 17,031 died.
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