Journalist apprehended for not wearing face mask in QC, later freed
A journalist was apprehended for allegedly violating minimum health standards during police and local government’s one-time, big-time operation in Quezon City on Wednesday.
According to the city's Department of Public Order and Safety head Elmo San Diego, Howie Severino of GMA-7 was caught along Mother Ignacia not properly wearing his mask.
“We have one-time, big-time operation in Quezon City, all violators will be apprehended… our operatives saw Howie with his mask down… improper wearing of mask is tantamount to no mask,” San Diego said.
San Diego said Severino was brought to the Amoranto Sports Complex and during he explained that he was drinking water when he was apprehended.
“He said he was drinking water so the operatives were shocked because he is not drinking during the time of apprehension… so my personnel asked the other bikers who are with him… they said it's true that they stopped because Howie is thirsty,” San Diego said.
“That‘s a valid reason to let him go… apparently he is right so he was released because he justified why his mask was pulled down,” he added.
San Diego said he does not see any problem between Severino and the apprehending officers.
“There’s no issue… I did not see any problems on both sides,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Severino said he had just finished his drink and returned the bottle to the store when apprehending officers arrived before he could pull his mask back.
“At least three vehicles of QC law enforcers arrived to tell me I was talking without my mask covering my mouth and had to be brought to Amoranto Stadium for a seminar,” he said.
Severino was infected with COVID-19 when the National Capitol Region was under enhanced community quarantine. He survived and wrote about his long hospitalization.
The QC government has yet to say how many violators were apprehended in their operation. Ella Dionisio/DMS