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Bayan: Police warning jeepney drivers of arrest if they continue to beg, join relief program

/ 02:37 PM June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has received reports that the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) is allegedly threatening to arrest conventional jeepney drivers if they continue to beg in the streets and join a relief program for them on Saturday.

“We received complaints that the QCPD (PNP) is warning drivers of arrests should they continue to beg in the streets and join the Solidarity Day for drivers tomorrow,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes revealed in a text message on Friday.

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Reyes questioned why the police have to “harass” the jeepney drivers, saying the Solidarity Day was only organized to provide them relief since they are still not allowed to ply the streets of Metro Manila under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

“If the government cannot provide for these drivers, why is the QCPD preventing those who wish to help? Are they going to criminalize relief work, too?” he added.

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INQUIRER.net is verifying this information with the QCPD and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) but has yet to receive a response from them as of posting time.

This information from Bayan comes after some members of the LGBTQIA+ community were arrested earlier Friday along Morayta Street in the city of Manila for protesting the anti-terror bill.

Police arrested the protesters reportedly due to illegal assembly as the rally also allegedly violates the prohibition on mass gathering amid the existing GCQ in Metro Manila.

To recall, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra warned on June 11 that actual “physical” rallies will be “temporarily banned” during the coronavirus crisis to protect public health.

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“Violations may give rise to penal sanctions under existing public health laws, not under criminal laws. As (Interior) Sec. (Eduardo) Año said, there are safer ways to express one’s protest during this period of public health emergency,” he earlier said.

However, the National Union of People’s Lawyers explained that the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the law on mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases do not have provisions allowing arrests due to alleged violations of quarantine rules or the prohibition on mass gatherings.

KGA

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TAGS: Bayan Renato Reyes, GCQ, jeepney, jeepney drivers, PNP‎, QCPD
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