‘Think twice’ before holding Independence Day protests amid pandemic, Eleazar warns
MANILA, Philippines — Critics should think twice before organizing protests on Independence Day amid health risks posed by the coronavirus disease outbreak, a high-ranking police official said Thursday.
“First, we would like to advise those who will hold rallies to think twice. Since we have a pandemic and our problem there is that they might be included in the statistics of infection,” Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said over CNN Philippines when asked about police protocols for Independence Day rallies on June 12.
The police official said that protesters could air complaints through online platforms where required health protocols such as social distancing will not be an issue.
But Eleazar said the police force would observe “maximum tolerance” for groups that would hold protests on June 12.
“Just in case, they will gather, they will be approached by the police to appeal to them to disperse. Maximum tolerance is always there but if they would insist and resist and disobey us, that’s a different story,” he said.
Cebu police arrested members of progressive groups for protests against the anti-terror bill while six jeepney drivers were detained in Caloocan for airing their loss of livelihood because of the quarantine.
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