Parañaque mayor apologizes to family of vendor hurt by task force personnel
MANILA, Philippines — Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez on Monday apologized to the family of the vendor who was violently arrested by members of the city task force during its clearing operations over the weekend.
“Gusto ko lang pong himingi ng paumanhin sa pamilya ni Warren (vendor), hindi po talaga yun ang protocol ng ating city,” Olivarez said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
(I apologize to Warren’s family, what happened is not the city’s protocol.)
“Kung sino po yung nagkasala, sasagutin po nila ‘yon,” he added.
(Those responsible will be held accountable.)
In a video that went viral on social media, members of the Parañaque City Task Force were seen tackling a vendor to the ground after the latter refused to give his pushcart to authorities.
“Binalik po sakanya, hindi po kinuha yung kariton. Binalik po yung kariton po sa kanya. Ang hindi lang maganda, nasaktan po si Warren,” Olivarez said.
(His pushcart was returned to him. What is regrettable is that Warren was hurt.)
“Nasa Baclaran po, siya he’s alright but siyempre nandun pa rin yung takot sakanya, yung anxiety nandun po sakanya dun sa pangyayari,” he added.
(He’s now in Baclaran, he’s alright but the fear is still there, he’s anxious because of what happened.)
Olivarez said the five task force personnel involved in the vendor’s violent arrest have already been suspended.
They would also be facing termination as well as administrative cases over their use of “excessive force” following an investigation, he added.
The mayor admitted being surprised by the incident, saying such an occurrence has never happened in the five years that the task force has been conducting clearing operations in the city.
“Naka-trained po sila e, kaya ito pong insidenteng ito, ako po’y nabigla kasi for the past five years na nagi-implement po kami, wala kaming incident na ganito yung nangyari,” Olivarez said.
(They are trained, that’s why I was surprised by this incident because for the past five years, this never happened.)
“Sumusunod po sila sa ating protocol, yung ating guidelines na hindi pupwedeng gumamit ng force, ang kailangan ay maximum tolerance at bago magpaalis ng mga kariton, ng vendors, biniigyan muna sila ng notice, at voluntarily na tatanggalin nila yung obstruction sa kalsada,” he added.
(They usually follow our protocol, our guidelines that force should not be used. There should be maximum tolerance and before they ask a vendor to leave or remove their belongings, they would be given notice first, and they should remove their belongings voluntarily.)
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