Hontiveros wants QC official sacked for ‘shoot-to-kill’ post
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros wants the head of a Quezon City task force sacked over his “shoot-to-kill” post online, saying this wasn’t the first time such abuses had been committed.
The alleged excessed committed by Quezon City Task Force Disiplina head Ranulfo “Rannie” Ludovica, a former councilor, prompted the senator to file Senate Resolution 489, which sought an investigation into reported abuses of local officials in enforcing quarantine rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ludovica was widely criticized after his now-deleted Facebook post threatening to have quarantine violators shot became viral. He later explained that his post was merely to air out his frustration with the surging number of COVID-19 infections that led to the return to the more stringent modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
But Hontiveros wouldn’t budge.
“Bakit pagpatay ang sagot sa isang health crisis? Our people are already suffering, and statements like that do not inspire confidence in our local leaders,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(Why is killing people seem to be the perceived solution to this health crisis?)
In her resolution, Hontiveros said the task force headed by Ludovica has already been subject to controversy involving the “brutal mauling” and detention of a fish vendor by last April for failing to wear a face mask.
“Hindi ito ang unang beses na may ganitong pang-aabuso at karahasan mula sa ilang local government officials habang nagpapatupad ng quarantine rules,” she said.
(This is not the first time that there is this kind of abuse and violence from some local government officials when implementing quarantine rules.)
“In Metro Manila and other areas where community quarantine have been imposed, there have been too many cases of human rights abuse and other illegal acts which we need to stop,” she added.
The senator also wrote to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte requesting to replace Ludovica as head of the task force “with someone who can actually help save, not harm, local residents.”
Belmonte has condemned Ludovica’s “threat” against lockdown violators for being inappropriate, saying the city does not have a “shoot-to-kill” policy.
Interior Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya has reprimanded Ludovica for his post, which the former branded as “improper and illegal.”
Other cases of abuse
Hontiveros said the Senate probe should also look into other reported cases of abuse by local officials during the pandemic, such as “locking violators in dog cages, keeping them under the intense heat of the sun, or subjecting them to acts of torture and sexual violence such as by forcing them to kiss one another.”
These actions, she said, is a gross violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act 6713) as well as the prohibition against cruel and inhuman punishment under the 1987 Constitution.
Hontiveros then urged local government officials to act in accordance with the law and their mandate as public servants since their constituents “are already badly affected by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.”
“Paalala lang po, virus ang kalaban natin, hindi taumbayan,” she said.
(Just a reminder, the virus is the enemy, not the public.)
“Punitive and militarized responses to a public health pandemic will serve no purpose but to further punish the already suffering,” she added.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 112,593 confirmed cases, 66,049 of which have recovered while 2,115 have died.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.