No ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy for MECQ violators, Gamboa says
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said Tuesday there is no shoot-to-kill order on violators of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), saying that the local official in Quezon City who posted the threat on social media might have said it only for emphasis.
“Shoot-to-kill? Wala naman. Baka lang to emphasize things,” he said in a press briefing when sought for comment on the Facebook post of Rannie Ludovica, head of the Quezon City Task Force Disiplina.
(Shoot to kill? There was no such order. Maybe it was just meant to emphasize things.)
Ludovica came under fire for threatening violators of MECQ with a shoot-to-kill policy, after Metro Manila and nearby provinces were placed under a more rigid quarantine status from August 4 to 18 amid the rising coronavirus cases.
“Mula bukas, shoot-to-kill na ang lalabag sa MECQ (Starting tomorrow there will be a shoot-to-kill order for MECQ violators),” Ludovica said in his Facebook post on Monday which has now been deleted.
The official later clarified that his post was “personal” and does not reflect the policies of the Quezon City government. He also said his post was a mere expression of dismay over the reverting of Metro Manila and nearby areas from general community quarantine to the stricter MECQ.
“Nagmula ang nasabing personal na Facebook post ng inyong lingkod sa aking pagkadismaya sa pagbalik natin mula sa GCQ to MECQ,” he said. “Patuloy na tumataas ang bilang ng COVID-19 sa lungsod at buong bansa dahil sa kawalan ng disiplina ng karamihan sa ating mga mamamayan at paglabag nila sa batas.”
(The Facebook post stemmed from my dismay that we are again back in MECQ from GCQ… The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the city and the country because of the lack of discipline of many of our countrymen and because of their disobedience to the law.)
In a media report, Quezon City Joy Belmonte was also quoted as saying that it was “very wrong and in very poor taste” for Ludovica to make such a post.
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also criticized the remark of the official, describing it as “improper and illegal.”
“While we strongly believe that discipline is one of the preventive measures to stop the transmission of the coronavirus, this must be enforced within the bounds of the law and the DILG will not tolerate any possible abuse of authority on the part of law enforcement agencies or enforcement units of local government units,” Malaya said in a statement.
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