Roque on pillion riders: Arrest them
President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson said people who ride behind the driver on motorcycles should be arrested and local government officials castigated for defying a Palace order to enforce a ban on the policy against pillion riding.
Harry Roque, presidential spokesperson, asked the National Capital Region police to arrest people who insist on riding by twos on motorcycles despite the ban.
“Those back riders should be arrested. And the local government units tolerating this, they can be issued show cause orders, especially that the main supporter of the no back ride policy is no less than Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano,” he said at a press briefing.
He went on: “So mayors, be careful because the Department of the Interior and Local Government has supervision over you. Do not go against the no back ride policy.”
Roque made the remarks amid reports that pillion riders have been spotted more frequently in Metro Manila despite prohibitions.
The government has temporarily banned pillion riding on motorcycles to curb coronavirus transmission.
Roque urged government officials to heed minimum health standards and restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to set an example to their constituents.
Asked to comment on the alleged quarantine protocol violations committed by San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora and his escorts in Baguio City, Roque said Malacanang was leaving the investigation to the Philippine National Police.
“We leave this case to the police. But I appeal to everyone. We all must serve as an example to emulate,” Roque said.
He also reminded the public to continue observing community quarantine restrictions, even if these have been eased despite the COVID-19 threat.
Roque said those wanting to stage protests on June 12, Independence Day, may do so online and not on the streets.
Last week, police arrested several protesters against the anti-terror bill at the University of the Philippines in Cebu.
“The cases in Cebu are very high, it just so happened that they appealed so they were downgraded to a general community quarantine,” Roque said.
“So in areas with high risk of COVID-19, please do not violate our community quarantine rules. You can protest online. We are not preventing that,” Roque said.
Edited by TSB
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