Duterte ''overemphasized on implementing the law''in warning troublemakers: PNP
The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday assured the public that they will not shoot leftist and violators of the enhanced community quarantine, saying President Rodrigo Duterte is overemphasizing the implementation of law when he made his statement.
In a TV interview, Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa was asked about the order of Duterte to shoot those who will bring hostilities amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat.
“Of course not. Probably the President just overemphasized on implementing the law in this time of crisis,” Gamboa said.
He said they see the “strong message” in Duterte’s statement and the PNP understood what he meant.
Gamboa said the PNP doesn't just arrest those who are violating the quarantine law.
“No, not in all cases. You can even see in checkpoints. We just convince them to just go back if they are not among those that are exempted,” he said.
“If there are violations, we just remind people. But you know really sometimes we really have to implement the law so that people will understand why we are doing it,” he added.
Gamboa also said there is no directive for police officer manning checkpoints to hurt or harass those who are violating the law.
“It has been a policy of the PNP that we always exercise maximum tolerance and within the bounds of the law” he said.
Duterte made the statement after residents from Barangay Pagasa, Quezon City held a protest along EDSA demanding food aid from the local government.
Local government and police officers claimed they was sent by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) group.
"I am addressing the left, your slamming about the distribution (of relief assistance). Remember, left: You are not the government. Do you understand? You are not the government and you cannot be part of what we are planning to do for the nation," Duterte said.
"Don't make foolishness and instigate riot because I will order you detained and I will only order your release after the COVID(-19 crisis) is over," he added.
Gamboa said the local government units and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will deal with the issue on the residents as it is not within their duty.
“The IATF should deal with policies and local government units would address this. What the PNP would just do is to implement the law,” he said.
Gamboa said the residents were arrested because of conducting mass gathering, which is not allowed during the enhanced community quarantine, and for being unruly. Ella Dionisio/DMS