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Biker doctor detained after dispute with cops over face shield

/ 09:16 PM April 08, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—A doctor from Cainta has been detained for three days following his arrest on April 4 for biking without a face shield.

The police said the doctor was stopped at 7:30 in the morning of April 4 at the boundary control checkpoint along Ortigas Avenue Extension, Barangay Santo Domingo, Cainta.

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The officers asked for his ID as proof that he was from Cainta. The doctor presented his hospital ID. After verifying that he was an APOR or Authorized Person Outside of Residence, they told him he could leave.

However, an argument erupted after he was reminded to wear his face shield. The police said the doctor insisted that he is not required to wear a face shield being a biker, and as “a doctor he knows what to do.”

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Rule on face shields

Under Joint memorandum circular no. 2021-0001, bikers are not required to wear face shields when cycling “due to the [potential] for vision impairment [that] face shields [may cause], bikers and users of other [modes] of active [transportation are exempt] from the mandatory use of face shields outside of their residences.”

READ: DOH reminds: Face shields not required for cyclists, active transport users

But the Cainta police said the doctor should have worn his face shield when he dismounted from his bike.

Under the same administrative order, people must wear face shields “before and after cycling or other similar activities.”

The police filed a complaint for simple disobedience and unjust vexation only a day after his arrest.

Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code provides that people arrested without a warrant should be brought to court within 12, 18, or 36 hours depending on the offense’s penalty.

Simple disobedience carries a penalty of up to six months imprisonment and a fine, whereas unjust vexation carries a penalty of up to one-month imprisonment.

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The Cainta police have yet to comment on the matter.

The incident comes on the heels of a recent pronouncement by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra that he has recommended the stricter enforcement of the ordinances.

Guevarra said: “LGUs consider the possibility of imposing na lamang the penalty of community service for those who will continue to violate our ordinances rather than imprison or rather than putting them in jail or fining them, eh kasi talaga ngang mahirap na ang buhay sa ECQ (because life is really hard under the ECQ).”

Meanwhile, the Cainta prosecutor’s office has approved the filing of simple disobedience and unjust vexation against the 35-year-old doctor.

“The Inquest Resolution is for filing of Simple Disobedience and unjust vexation,” Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento told reporters in a text message.

Malcontento said the prosecutor had set the bail for P3,000 per offense or a total of P6,000. The doctor was released after payment of the bail.

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TAGS: Cainta, doctor, face shield, frontliner, Police
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