Manila Police District (MPD) director Brig Gen Leo Francisco confirmed on Monday that 6 policemen involved in the detention of a reporter on Friday were fired.
Relieved of the post while the investigation continues with the following policemen stationed in the Beata Police Community Precinct:
- Lt. Joel Piñon, precinct chief
- Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Hernandez
- Cpl. Charles Dela Torre
- Patrolman Marvin Comboya
- Patrolman Jonathan Abad
- Senior Sgt. Anthony Geronimo
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Francisco said that it Friday afternoon when police arrested Lorenz Tanjoco of Radyo Pilipinas at a checkpoint in Pandacan, for allegedly not wearing a face mask.
Tanjoco allegedly said that he just dropped his face mask and will wear it again.
But it ended in an argument when the reporter allegedly took a video using a cellphone.
He was arrested and detained for several hours before being released on Saturday.
According to Francisco, the violation of wearing a face mask should not have resulted in detention and the police should have just warned the reporter.
6 Manila cops fired after arresting reporter without face mask
An OIC station commander was first assigned to Beata PCP while the investigation continues.
Last week, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) told police officers not to arrest or file a case against quarantine violators as these measures were “counterproductive,” PNP spokesperson Ildebrandi Usana said.
The statement came following the deaths of two curfew violators who died after being arrested for violating quarantine protocols.
“The Chief PNP required na huwag nang mang-aresto [o] magsampa ng kaso because it might be counterproductive also to our people,” Usana said.
Usana noted arresting or filing complaints against quarantine violators is also impractical for police officers stationed at checkpoints because they have to bring the violators to police stations.
The PNP spokesperson also said that the police are instructed to just release the quarantine violators brought by barangay or local government authorities to their station.