The Philippine National Police (PNP) clarified Thursday said it would not shoot unruly quarantine violators dead following President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning late Wednesday night.
“My orders are sa pulis pati military, pati mga barangay, na pagka ginulo at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa alanganin, shoot them dead! Tingnan natin. Patay. Eh kaysa manggulo kayo diyan, eh libing ko na kayo,” Duterte said in an impromptu TV address Wednesday night.
(My orders to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead! Let’s see. Dead. Instead of causing chaos, I’ll just bury you.)
“Of course not, probably the President just overemphasized on implementing the law in this time of crisis. Of course not,” PNP chief Director General Archie Gamboa told ANC when asked if the police would implement Duterte’s order.
“We see the strong message, and I think all the PNP personnel understood it.”
President Duterte issued the statement hours after several residents in a barangay in Quezon City protested due to the lack of food aid from the government. The responding police arrested some of the protesters.
PNP to file cases against Quezon City protesters
The PNP chief Gamboa said he had ordered the filing of charges against those arrested in the rally.
“Sana naman [I hope] they should not resort to these things. We’re mandated to enforce the law. People should understand that patience should be there,” Gamboa said.
“Patience should be a virtue. He (Duterte) even assured that nobody is going to get hungry,” he added.
Gamboa added that the PNP would not tolerate anyone from their agency who would abuse the implementation of the law amid the enhanced community quarantine.
He said the Manila Police District (MPD) is now investigating the police officer caught on video hitting a resident who violated the ECQ in Quiapo, Manila. He also threatened to shoot residents who would insist on going out the streets.
“It has been the policy of the PNP that we always exercise maximum tolerance and within the bounds of the law,” he said. He also said the police remained on his position.
Physical punishment must not be imposed on arrested curfew violators, according to the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield, tasked to implement government’s guidelines on the Luzon lockdown.