MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he could not let his guard down despite the drop in daily Covid-19 infections, reminding barangay (village) officials to enforce community quarantine guidelines in their respective jurisdictions or face liability.
This, after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Caloocan City government is set to file charges against village officials and the owner of the Gubat sa Ciudad Resort that was found operating despite the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) implemented in the city.
In photos that went viral on social media, crowds were seen bathing in the resort that was supposed to be closed during the celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday.
“You have to enforce the law, yung barangay captains sa yung lugar mo (You barangay captains in your area). You are the person in authority,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded meeting with Cabinet members.
He said barangay officials who failed to enforce the law should be punished, especially since their negligence could resort to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.
“Kaya ang (That’s why the) barangay captain, you are called upon and will be held liable for the failure of implementing the law in your territory,” he added.
As “persons in authority”, Duterte said they had the responsibility to make sure that community quarantine regulations are enforced as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“Kasi magsabi bakit ibigay sa amin ‘yan? Anak ng. Hindi ninyo alam, ‘yan ‘yan (Then you ask, why give us that responsibility. You don’t know, that’s your responsiblity). That is the reason why,” he added.
On April 28, Duterte ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to go after mayors and barangay officials who fail to enforce community quarantine protocols to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases.
“It is a violation of the law and if you do not enforce the law, there is a dereliction of duty which is punishable under the Revised Penal Code. So the DILG can proceed against you for not doing your duty as mayor or as a barangay captain, but not so much about the mayor,” he said in his speech.
Duterte also ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest people who will be caught not wearing face masks and face shields properly in public spaces and those who do not observe physical distancing.
Duterte said he could not let his guard down, despite the drop in daily Covid-19 infections.
On Monday, health authorities recorded 8,193 new recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 1,030,367.
The country’s active Covid-19 cases went down to 59,897 despite 6,846 new reported infections while the death toll reached 18,562 after logging 90 new deaths. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com