Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar has ordered the police not to harm and shame quarantine violators.
“Pag dinala sa police station or sa holding area, ‘wag niyong ikukulong, ‘wag sasaktan, ‘wag paparusahan, at ‘wag hihiyain,” Eleazar said on The Mangahas Interviews.
(When you bring them to the police station or at the holding area, don’t lock them up, don’t hurt them, don’t punish them, and don’t shame them.)
Cops drew flak after some quarantine violators complained of being hurt and shamed. Two even died due to alleged punishment given by authorities.
“At kung anong applicable na provision ng ordinansa na nandoon, ‘yun ang inyong ipataw at bago dumating ang 12 hours pauwiin niyo na sila,” he said.
(And they should charge whatever ordinance is applicable, and once 12 hours have passed, the violators should be sent home.)
The PNP chief also reminded the police to stop arresting quarantine violators if they have no holding area in their stations.
Eleazar orders cops not to shame, hurt quarantine violators
“[O]n our case, sinabi ko sa ating mga unit commanders on the ground na bago kayo manghuli, siguraduhin na meron kayong paglalagyan na hindi sila mag didikit-dikit,” he said.
(In our case, I told our unit commanders that before they arrest someone, they should make sure that they have a holding cell to put them in.)
Eleazar also urged the public to follow health protocols, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for a year.
“That’s why we’re appealing to the sense of maturity and unity ng ating mga kababayan. Sumonod kayo dahil ito ang tamang gawin, hindi dahil huhulihin ko kayo kung kayo ay lalabag ito,” he said.
(That’s why we’re appealing to the sense of maturity and unity ng ating mga kababayan. You should follow because it’s the right thing to do, not because you will be arrested if you violate.)