QC condo execs facing complaint for alleged illegal detention of nurses | Inquirer News

QC condo execs facing complaint for alleged illegal detention of nurses

/ 04:39 PM July 03, 2020

Update

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has filed a complaint for illegal detention against the officials and security personnel of a condominium in Quezon City for allegedly confining and restricting three nurses in their unit.

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NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor said Friday that the bureau’s Special Action Unit (SAU) received a complaint on June 29 from the three nurses through their lawyers against the management and security personnel of Victoria Towers Condominium.

The complaint said the nurses have been prohibited from going out of their unit since June 22.

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Distor said the complainants alleged they were being confined at the unit despite presenting their medical certificates proving that they are free of the coronavirus disease 2019 and are fit to return to work.

He identified the subjects of the NBI complaint as Mel Tosco, property manager and administrative head of the condominium, Napoleon Briñas, head of security management of San Jose Builders Inc. (SJBI), Jerich Jucaban, vice president of SJBI, security guard Sadat Macabanding and five other unidentified people.

After verifying the complaint, NBI-SAU operatives launched a rescue operation despite the refusal of the condominium officials.

The agents maintained that the nurses had secured medical certificates proving they are well. However, the legal officer of SJBI allegedly still refused to let the complainants leave “on the ground that they are still awaiting clearance from the barangay.”

Distor said they invited the barangay chairwoman to show up at the condo, where she explained that the role of the barangay is only to monitor COVID-19 patients and suspected patients, aside from providing basic assistance to sickened barangay residents. She said they don’t issue health clearance “as they respect clearances issued by infectious control consultants.”

NBI operatives proceeded to the 9th floor of the building to rescue the nurses despite the continued objection of the condominium officials to release the complainants.

According to Distor, a female guard was stationed at the hall to monitor the movement of the nurses.

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Distor said Tosco was arrested, but Briñas managed to flee. Jucaban also did not show up despite telling the operatives he would come over.

Tosco was brought to the NBI-SAU office for booking procedures.

The female guard and security-in-charge, meanwhile, said they were merely following Tosco and Briñas’ orders, which they believed were legal.

Charges for serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code as amended, and Quezon City Executive Order No. 26 Series of 2020 for the protection of COVID-19 patients and frontliners from any kind of discrimination, were filed against the subjects.

The author is contacting the condominium officials to get their side. [ac]

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TAGS: coronavirus disease, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Discrimination, illegal detention, NBI, nurses, Victoria Towers Condominium
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