The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday asserted that former senator Jinggoy Estrada violated the policies of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) when he conducted a relief operation in San Juan without a permit from the city government.
Estrada, who provided free milkfish (“bangus”) to several families in San Juan, was taken to the police station on Sunday.
“Naintindihan naman natin ‘yung kagustuhan ni former senator Jinggoy na makatulong pero dapat ay ayon ito sa legal na pamamaraan at sa panuntunan ng ECQ guidelines,” said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
(We understand that former senator Jinggoy wants to help, but it must be under legal procedure and ECQ guidelines.)
According to Estrada, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora is politicizing him.
“Wala daw ako permit. Namimigay lang tayo ng bangus…Bakit ako hinihingan ng permit? Why single me out? It’s plain harassment,” said Estrada.
(They said I don’t have a permit. We are just distributing milkfish. Why do they ask for a permit?)
San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora denied Estrada’s accusation.
“There’s no politics involved here. What I don’t understand is (former) Sen. Estrada has been repeatedly doing all of these without any coordination with the local government, without securing any permits,” Zamora said.
DILG insists Jinggoy Estrada violated ECQ
According to San Juan police, Estrada must first obtain certification at Zamora’s office.
Police have also not charged the former senator.
This is not the first time Zamora and Estrada have been involved in this issue.
In the first week of April, Zamora stopped the mobile market project of Estrada and its son, former San Juan vice mayor Janella Estrada because there were no permits.
According to Philippine National Police Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, police have shown maximum tolerance in handling the incident.
“Binigyan na lamang ng stern warning si dating Sen. Jinggoy Estrada na makipag-ugnayan sa LGU (local government unit) kung ito’y mamamahagi ng pagkain at sumunod lagi sa panuntunan ng social distancing na ipinapatupad sa ilalim ng ECQ,” said Banac in a statement.
(Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has been given a stern warning to contact the LGU (local government unit) if he distributes food and always adheres to the social distancing rules implemented under ECQ.)