Arrest barangay chiefs first in case of mass gatherings, Duterte tells police
MANILA, Philippines — Barangay chiefs will be the first to be arrested in case of mass gatherings in areas under their jurisdiction as they will be considered in dereliction of duty for allowing such activities during a pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a taped briefing that aired on Wednesday.
“I’m ordering the police to arrest the barangay captain and bring him to the station. Investigate him for dereliction of duty, having failed to enforce the law,” Duterte said.
He gave the order after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported about recent mass gathering events, including a pool party in Quezon City that led to the infection at least 54 people with the coronavirus.
“You forced me to do this. I hate this. I have a great respect for barangay captains, but please understand this is not a request. I’m not requesting for help,” Duterte said.
“I’m telling you that it is your duty to prevent these kinds of events from happening in your jurisdiction. You yourselves will have to stop them because if you do not do it, you will go to jail,” he warned.
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