Cebu City cop faces probe for flogging face mask violator
CEBU CITY—A policeman in this city is facing an investigation after he was caught in a now viral video flogging a delivery truck helper who failed to wear a face mask last Monday.
The police officer, whose identity was withheld by the Cebu City Police Office, has been relieved from his post at the Carbon Police Station and was disarmed, said Police Col. Josefino Ligan, the city director.
“The police officer may face dismissal from service if he is proven guilty of using excessive force against the victim,” Ligan said on Friday.
The policeman used a paddle in hitting the victim thrice in the legs inside the Carbon Police Station.
The incident was posted on Facebook by the complainant who used the name “Aikoh Ylara,” and who managed to take a cell phone video of what was done to him by the policeman. The victim’s social media post has gone viral on social media sites.
Ylara said he was arrested by the policeman because he forgot to wear a face mask while he was on a delivery truck that was parked at the Carbon Public Market on Monday.
He said he was brought to the police station and was told by the officer to pay a P1,000 fine, as mandated by a Cebu City ordinance for quarantine violators. Under the city’s quarantine ordinance, however, first time violators like Ylara are only required to pay a fine of P500.
Asked to choose
Ylara said that when he told the policeman that he had no money, he was repeatedly asked to choose between being hit three or five times.
When he agreed to be flogged three times, the policeman immediately proceeded to do so, without realizing that the act was being recorded on the victim’s cellular phone.
The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) has also stepped in to investigate the incident.
CHR-7 Director Arvin Odron said the policeman might be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 9745, or the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, which prohibits degrading and inhumane punishment.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he would not tolerate police abuses and called on victims of police harassment to seek help from the city attorney so that appropriate charges could be filed against erring policemen. —ADOR VINCENT MAYOL
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.