QCPD to pursue case vs residents who protested for aid despite QC mayor’s plea

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020   •   822

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Thursday said it will pursue the filing of charges against 21 individuals who were arrested for staging a rally to demand aid amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

The QCPD said the residents violated the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the law on Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Concern, Presidential Proclamation No. 922, and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to persons in authority.

The QCPD said the 21 individuals will undergo inquest proceedings online on Friday.

“Sa ngayon po, ipa-file po natin ‘yung kaso laban sa kanila,” QCPD Spokesperson Police Lieutenant Johanna Sazon said.

The arrested individuals, who are residents of Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, were apparently part of dozens of protesters who formed a barricade along EDSA service road on Wednesday afternoon to appeal for assistance from the local government.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier appealed to release the residents for humanitarian reasons.

But she assured she will abide by President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive not to tolerate any acts that are in violation of the law, especially amid the COVID-19 quarantine.

“I made an appeal for their release only for humanitarian reasons yesterday and this was duly noted but denied, and it is not my place to obstruct justice. I was told they were in clear violation of Republic Act #11469 otherwise known as the Bayanihan Heal As One Act,” Belmonte said in a statement.

“The directive of the President in his statement last night was very clear that acts such as those they allegedly committed will not be tolerated and therefore I fully abide,” she added.

The mayor earlier assured her constituents that there is a continuous distribution of relief packs.

Authorities also appealed for the public’s patience and understanding over the delayed movement of relief assistance. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

QC warns establishments violating quarantine protocols after restobar shutdown

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

The Quezon City local government has warned establishments violating quarantine protocols, reiterating that operation of restobars, night clubs, and other leisure and entertainment centers remain prohibited.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte issued the warning after a night club in Tomas Morato was shut down and around 100 individuals arrested for partying in the establishment.

“Inilalagay niyo sa panganib ang buhay ng inyong mga customer at iba pang mga residente dahil ang pag-inom sa publiko ay isa sa mga rason sa pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa ating lungsod, (You’re putting the life of your customers and other residents at risk. Drinking in public is one of the reasons for the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city)” she said.

Belmonte also said the local government understands the need to jumpstart the city’s economy, however the health and safety of the citizens must not be compromised. AAC

Former QC barangay official to face charges for violating quarantine rules

Robie de Guzman   •   August 25, 2020

The Quezon City government is planning to file charges against a former barangay official who violated quarantine protocols amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the former councilman, whom she did not identify, breached quarantine protocols, forcing the city government to enforce a total lockdown on a street where he resides to monitor the condition of the families living there.

Based on a report, Belmonte said the former councilman and other members of his family underwent swab testing after his son tested positive for COVID-19 after a drinking session with another positive individual.

“The family has been ordered to undergo quarantine while waiting for the result of their swab tests, but he failed to comply,” Belmonte said in a statement.

When the former barangay official’s swab test came back positive, Belmonte ordered the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU), headed by Dr. Rolly Cruz, to immediately conduct contact tracing.

“After our contact tracing, we determined that 15 individuals who had close contact with him need to undergo swab testing,” Dr. Cruz said.

The city government said it will file charges against the former barangay official and his son, per Ordinance No. SP-2958 S-2020, which prohibits breaching of quarantine protocols.

“Napag-alaman natin na pasaway itong dating opisyal na ito dahil lumabas at nakisalamuha pa siya sa mga kapitbahay kahit na naghihintay sila ng resulta ng anak niyang nagpa-swab test,” Barangay Community Relations Department head Ricky Corpuz said.

According to City Attorney Nino Casimiro, persons who break quarantine may be physically returned to quarantine by barangay and/or City officials, with police assistance, if necessary under the said Ordinance.

“Papanagutin natin siya at ang kanyang anak sa kanilang ginawa na naglagay sa buong komunidad sa panganib,” Casimiro said.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City Health Department said it may re-adjust the quarantine period of the violators accordingly and may require them to isolate instead in a quarantine facility of the City.

Violators will also be penalized P1,000, P3,000, and P5,000 for the first, second, and third offense, respectively.

They may also face appropriate charges under Republic Act No. 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” or any other applicable law.

QCPD to probe claims NDFP consultant was one of two males found dead in Novaliches

Robie de Guzman   •   August 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Monday said it is now trying to ascertain the true identity of one of the two male persons who were earlier found dead in Novaliches, Quezon City.

The victims were initially identified by police as Manuel Santiago and Louie Tagapia.

This runs contrary to claim of the Anakpawis and other militant groups that one of the victims is Anakpawis chairperson and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall Echanis.

QCPD director Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo said the two individuals’ identities were verified through identification cards found in their apartment and the landlord’s statement.

“Manuel Santiago talaga ang pagkakilala sa kanya ng may-ari eh. Tinanong namin na ‘May nagsasabi ngayon na ito si Randy, ano ba ‘yun, Echanis’. Sabi niya, ‘Ay hindi, kasi ang pakilala n’yan sa akin nung umupa dito…” nag-issue nga s’ya ng statement na Manuel talaga ‘yun,” he said.

Montejo said it is open to coordinating with Anakpawis and the victims’ kin to confirm their identities.

“’Yung mga kamag-anak n’ya, ini-encourage din natin na pumunta sa CIDU para mag-issue ng statement, eh wala pa rin dumating kaya hangga’t wala pa doon muna kami sa na-recover na ID at sinabi ng may-ari ng bahay,” he said.

Currently, police investigators are looking at robbery and personal grudges as possible motives for the killing as one of the victims, Tagapia, was found to have sported a Sputnik Gang tattoo.

“Unang tinitingnan natin ay ‘yung mga modus ng akyat-bahay… Baka kakilala n’ya, hindi rin natin masabi, baka nagising ito,” Montejo said.

“Isa rin sa tinitingnan natin ay ‘yung si Louie Tagapia, may tattoo na Sputnik gang. Kalalabas lang din pala nito, ang kaso ay illegal drugs, parang personal grudge sa kanya,” he added.

Montejo also asked parties not to instantly accuse police of being behind the slay of the victims.

“Malayo eh kasi wala namang pulis na pumapatay na saksak eh, anong ginagawa n’ya sa baril n’ya? Lalapitan pa n’ya eh di lalo s’yang delikado,” he said.

He also clarified earlier reports that the incident was a result of police operation as there was no coordination made from any QCPD unit. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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