PNP chief: 'Transgression into private life' inevitable in enforcing ECQ rules | Inquirer News

PNP chief: ‘Transgression into private life’ inevitable in enforcing ECQ rules

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 03:05 PM April 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Wednesday said that “transgressions into private life” could be unavoidable as police officers implement protocols of the enhanced community quarantine to ensure the protection of public health.

During a checkpoint inspection along North Luzon Expressway, Gamboa was asked about issues of human rights violations in the implementation of strict quarantine.

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To this, he replied: “Remember ang [argument] ngayon is: What is more important, national interest which is health or right to privacy? Of which, a lot of human rights advocates na tinitingnan talaga nila is ‘yung violation.”

(Remember the argument right now is what is more important? The national interest which is health or right to privacy? Of which, a lot of human rights advocates are looking into the violations.)

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“But remember, as much as possible ang primary consideration talaga ng government is public health and pag-implement natin in a way meron talagang mga transgressions into private life,” he also told reporters.

(Remember, as much as possible, the primary consideration of the government is public health and we implement it in a way that there are transgressions into private life.)

Gamboa cited the police’s questioning of people passing through COVID-19 control checkpoints as an example of a violation in the right to privacy

“Kapag usual na checkpoint, you cannot even ask searching questions. But [in] the interest of public health, we now have the power to inquire at least kung authorized ba ‘yung mga trabaho,” Gamboa said.

(For the usual checkpoints, you cannot even ask searching questions. But [in] the interest of public health, we now have the power to inquire at least if their work is authorized.)

“In that very simple way, makita talaga natin na in a way meron talagang konting panghimasok sa privacy because we are trying to protect the public of a higher interest, which is public health, and I hope the public would understand this,” he added.

(In that very simple way, we can see in a way that there is somewhat an interference in privacy because we are trying to protect the public of a higher interest. which is public health. and I hope the public would understand this.)

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On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch called on the government to control abusive behavior of policemen when implementing lockdown rules.

Just last week, Police Senior Master Sergeant Roland Von Madrona attempted to apprehend Spanish national Javier Parra, as the two figured in an altercation inside Dasmariñas Village in Makati City. The tussle ensued after Madrona called out Parra’s house helper for watering plants in their front yard without a face mask.

Another alleged abuse was when Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo shot former soldier Cpl. Winston Ragos, who was said to have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, near a COVID-19 control checkpoint in Quezon City. Ragos was shot twice, reportedly in the chest, and died in the hospital.

KGA

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