QC task force members involved in hitting of fish vendor to face suspension

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2020   •   641

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Office of the Mayor’s Task Force Disiplina who were involved in the hitting of a fish vendor for allegedly violating quarantine protocols will face suspension, the Quezon City government said Wednesday.

In a statement, the city government said that Task Force Disiplina chief Rannie Ludovica has recommended the said officers to be preventively suspended pending the investigation of the case.

Ludovica also ordered the withdrawal of the legal complaint against the vendor, Michael Rubuia.

Viral videos showed at least five men hitting and trying to drag Rubuia for not wearing a face mask and not having a quarantine pass while selling fish along Panay Avenue in Barangay South Triangle on Monday afternoon.

Task force personnel were also seen in the video hitting Rubuia with a “yantok” stick.

Ludovica said the task force members got involved after barangay officials asked for their help to arrest Rubuia who was accused of repeated violations of protocols on face mask-wearing and not having a quarantine pass when selling fish.

“Nung nakitang may mobile, nag-try na tumakbo at after ng nakitang ‘yun, bumalik ulit, humawak ulit dun sa railings na ‘yun, at nag-iskandalo at patuloy na minumura ‘yung mga tanod,” Ludovica said in a separate interview.

He admitted his members may have used excessive force in apprehending Rubuia. He has expressed deep regret over the incident.

“Humihingi rin po ako ng paumanhin doon sa naging aksyon ng tao po namin. Hindi naman po ‘yun talaga rin ang amin pong laging bini-briefing sa mga ‘yan. Igalang pa rin ang mga karapatan ng mga taong na nasasaway po namin sa kalsada,” he said.

The Quezon City government said its Legal Department has issued show cause orders requiring the public officers involved in the South Triangle incident to explain their actions.

It has also sent lawyers and investigators to the scene to acquire evidence necessary for the just resolution of the matter.

Rubuia is presently detained at Kamuning Police Station with charges of resistance and disobedience to persons of authority.

He was brought there after he received treatment for the abrasions he sustained during the incident.

Task Force Disiplina earlier claimed that Rubuia tested positive for illegal drug use but the Kamuning Police did not confirm it.

They also cannot say for certain if the allegation that Rubuia is suffering from mental issues is true.

“Hinahanapan po namin ng card siya kung meron pero wala ho naman siyang naipakita. Pero titingnan po namin ang anggulong yun,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Lucio Simangan Jr., commander of Kamuning Police Station 10.

Ludovica said Rubuia will be admitted to the Quezon City Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center at Barangay Payatas for assessment, evaluation, treatment, and care “in view of his positive drug test result.”

The Quezon City government said that while the release of Rubuia is being processed, it will see to it that his rights as a detainee are rightfully observed and all his basic needs are properly addressed.

A representative from the city’s legal department will also communicate with him on whether or not he would press charges against the task force members.

“This City assures all residents that while it strictly applies the law at all times and strongly advises the public towards strict compliance, it remains sensitive in the same degree on equally important issues which have emanated from this unfortunate incident,” the local government said. RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

QC gov’t flags milk tea shop for violating dine-in guidelines

Marje Pelayo   •   June 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government on Tuesday (June 23) warned a popular milk tea shop for violating dine-in guidelines issued by the national government.

On Tuesday (June 23), personnel from the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) and the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) inspected four food establishments to check on their compliance with the dine-in protocols.

The establishments visited were Shangri-La Restaurant on Times St, Infinitea and Gourmet Gypsy on Maginhawa St. and Banapple along Katipunan Avenue.

Of the four, the BPLD said Infinitea received a notice for violating Quezon City and IATF guidelines on dine-in procedures.

Authorities found out that the establishment lacked a thermal scanner, no health and safety officer on duty, and there was no logbook for customers.

“The logbook is very vital for contact tracing in the event na may mag-positive na isa na nagpunta sa store nila,” said BPLD head Margarita Santos.

Santos said her office will return to the store to validate if the necessary adjustments have been made in accordance with the guidelines.

The other three restaurants were cleared, according to Santos.

For complaints, Santos encouraged the public to report not through social media but through official platforms like the BPLD’s e-mail bpld@quezoncity.gov.ph or the city hall’s hotline numbers 122.

“Sensitive kami sa mga report sa social media pero ang pakiusap natin, huwag dito idaan ang reklamo, (We are sensitive when it comes to reports on social media but please do not post your complaints there),” Santos said.

“Mayroon tayong sinusunod na proseso upang mapanagot ang mga restaurant na hindi sumusunod sa panuntunan (There is a proper process for holding non-compliant restaurants responsible for their violations),” she said.

Meanwhile, DPOS Head General Elmo San Diego announced that the city government will ramp up its joint surprise inspections on food and other establishments that have been allowed to operate during the general community quarantine (GCQ) “to ensure that guidelines are strictly followed” while the city is trying to jumpstart its economy.

QC gov’t to begin first phase of bike lane project

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

The Quezon City Government is set to begin the first phase of its Bike Lane Network project to accommodate the increasing number of bikers in the city.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said they target to begin the implementation of the project by July.

“We are working double time on this project so that the increasing number of bikers in our city will be able to travel safely without other vehicles running over their lanes,” she said.

The city government is also drafting an ordinance to support this bike lane program, which will strengthen protection and support for the cycling community.

The first phase of the program includes the improvement or repairs of existing bike lanes. New bike routes are also identified to improve route connectivity while route signage and bike parking areas will also be included.

Belmonte is also coordinating wit the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to implement this program along Commonwealth Avenue, a national government highway.

“Commonwealth Avenue is one of the major thoroughfares in our city so it is fitting to include it in our bike lane network,” she said. AAC

QC offers more ‘Libreng Sakay’ to commuters

Marje Pelayo   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Quezon City has added two new routes to its Libreng Sakay program to help commuters catch a ride to and from their workplaces and other destinations.

“As we transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), we have to assist the people to adjust to the new normal and that includes going back to work,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

The Libreng Sakay program, which has dedicated 14 buses to ply two identified routes,  is available to the general public and Quezon City residents.

The said routes are as follows:

  • Route 1: SM Fairview – Quezon Avenue MRT (via Commonwealth Ave)

Starting point: SM Fairview

Pick up points

– Atherton / FCM

– Dona Carmen / Don Fabian (Wilcon)

– Litex

– Commonweath Market / Riverside

– Batasan

– Don Antonio

– Luzon / Tandang Sora (Puregold)

Drop off point: Quezon Avenue MRT

  • Route 2: Novaliches Bayan – North Avenue MRT (via Quirino Highway – Mindanao Ave)

Starting point: Nova Bayan

Drop off point: North Ave MRT

The city government has prioritized these routes due to the number of commuters who were stranded in these areas last Monday, the first day of the general community quarantine (GCQ) when several businesses were allowed to open.

“We recognize that a lot of people, mostly workers, are already returning to their offices but transport vehicles are few. We have to help augment,” said Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo.

Kimpo assured that the city government duly observes social distancing and other necessary protocols while the program is being implemented.

“Our seats have been installed with markers to keep passengers apart. Wearing of proper face mask will be strictly observed and is expected of our passengers,” said Kimpo.

Mayor Belmonte has asked the public to follow the city government’s  guidelines, adding that their cooperation is vital in curbing further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Mahalaga ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa sa paglipat natin patungo sa GCQ. Kailangan natin ang tulong ng lahat para hindi na kumalat pa ang virus na ito,” said Belmonte.

Meanwhile, the Libreng Sakay program for frontliners is still on-going.

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