MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday assured that people who will attempt to sow disorder amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country will be arrested.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa made the remark following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to arrest especially those who belong to left-leaning groups, whose intention is to hamper government efforts to address Covid-19.
“Probably the President just overemphasized on implementing the law in this time of crisis,” Gamboa said in a TV interview when sought for a comment.
Gamboa, however, said police officers will not shoot at these people.
“Of course not. We see the strong message and all the PNP personnel understood it,” he added.
Gamboa, meanwhile, asked residents to be patient while waiting for aid from the government.
“When we start mass gathering, it is already a violation of the intention of the inter-agency task force and the government itself so sana naman (we hope) they should not resort to these things because we’re also mandated to enforce the law. People should understand that patience should be there and no less than the President address the public last night that patience should be a virtue… he even assured that nobody will be getting hungry,” he added.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday night, Duterte said he would show no mercy to people who intend to hamper the government’s efforts to address Covid-19.
Earlier on Wednesday, 20 members of an urban poor group were arrested for staging a mass protest in Quezon City.
The group assembled on the north-bound lane of Edsa in front of the Avida Show Room to demand food relief packages from the Quezon City government.
They will be charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 11332 or Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act; RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act; Presidential Proclamation 922 (State of Public Health Emergency) and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to persons in authority. (PNA)