MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday called out a local official of Quezon City over his remarks of a “shoot to kill” for violators of quarantine protocols.
In a statement, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the alleged “shoot to kill” threat by Rannie Ludovica, head of the city’s Task Force Disiplina, for quarantine violators was “improper and illegal”.
“We advise him to desist from issuing similar statements in the future. While we strongly believe that discipline is one of the preventive measures to stop the transmission of the (coronavirus disease 2019), this must be enforced within the bounds of the law and the DILG will not tolerate any possible abuse of authority on the part of law enforcement agencies or enforcement units of local government units,” Malaya said.
He said the penalties to be imposed by local government units against quarantine violators must be within the bounds of their respective ordinances.
“We wish to assure the public that the QC Government led by Mayor Joy Belmonte has disowned the alleged Facebook post of Ludovica, saying that it should not be taken literally, if true, and that it was merely an expression of frustration over the growing number of violations in Quezon City,” he added.
He said LGU department heads must be circumspect in their social media posts since this may be mistaken by their constituents as an official policy of the LGU.
“In imposing discipline, we must also act in a disciplined manner at all times,” Malaya noted.
Following his viral post which read “Mula bukas, shoot to kill na ang lalabag sa (Starting tomorrow, shoot to kill for all violators of) MECQ”, Ludovica, in another post, clarified that the Quezon City government has no such policy and that it was only his personal statement.
“Nagmula ang nasabing personal na Facebook post ng inyong lingkod sa aking pagkadismaya sa pagbalik natin mula sa GCQ (general community quarantine) to MECQ (The personal Facebook post was only out of my dismay over our return from GCQ to MECQ),” he said.
Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are under MECQ until August 18. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan /PNA – northboundasia.com