Group vs COVID-19 vaccines planning mass protest? Not during ECQ, says Eleazar
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday rejected the bid of a group to hold a protest against the government’s coronavirus vaccination program this month when the National Capital Region would have reverted to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status.
In a statement, Eleazar said he was informed through social media platforms of planned protest action allegedly to be initiated by certain individuals planning to mobilize people to protest against COVID-19 vaccines this month.
He said allowing the group, which he did not name, to hold a protest action would violate existing health protocols, particularly on mass gathering.
“Hinihikayat natin ang mga kababayan nating ito na huwag nang ituloy ang kanilang plano dahil hindi natin papayagan ito lalo na sa panahon ng ECQ,” Eleazar said in a statement.
(We encourage our countrymen not to continue with their plans because we will not allow it under ECQ.)
“While we respect the right of the people to freedom of expression and even the decision of some people to refuse vaccination, encouraging our kababayan to do something that would compromise public health is a different matter,” he added.
Eleazar said he has ordered the PNP anti-cybercrime unit as well as Criminal Investigation and Detection (CIDG) to monitor the situation.
“Your right to hold protest actions ends when the right of the most number of our kababayan to be safe from COVID-19 starts,” he said.
Malacañang earlier announced that Metro Manila would be placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20 due to the significant spike in COVID-19 cases.
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