POLICE Regional Office 7 Director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro has reprimanded the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers after they reportedly punished a senior citizen who had survived a stroke by letting her walk under the heat of the sun.
The incident happened in Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City on July 2, 2020.
SAF troopers reportedly punished the 59-yearold woman by letting her walk five to six kilometers for allegedly carrying a fake QR-coded pass.
The Cebu City Government urged law enforcers to be compassionate and exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with residents who violate community quarantine protocol.
For Ferro, the punishment was unacceptable.
He did not say though if he will push for a disciplinary action against the SAF troopers, who are from Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police headquarters based in Metro Manila.
“Any inhuman or not authorized actions are not allowed. I told them they should do away with physical exercises,” said Ferro in a mix of Tagalog and English.
Ferro told the SAF troopers to only apprehend and charge community quarantine violators.
The police official said he will instruct his personnel to file charges against the violators of the provisions stated in Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella’s latest executive order issued for the city’s enhanced community status.
He ordered his personnel not to give a hard time to authorized persons outside residence (Apor) such as health workers and journalists.
In the executive orders issued by Labella, media workers are exempted from the stay-at-home order and thry only need to present press identification card and certificate of employment.
The same goes to others considered as Apor.
In a separate interview, Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. said all the executive orders issued by the City have been widely disseminated; the law enforcers manning the checkpoints must know the guidelines.
Casas urged Cebu City residents, especially the Apor, to also explain to the law enforcers that they are one of those considered as essential workers or Apor and secured a proof showing that they are one.
He said some law enforcers, including those who came from other areas outside Cebu, may not be familiar of the existing executive orders in the city.(AYB / KAL & JJL)