QUEZON City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, assured that there is no shoot-to-kill order against quarantine violators in the city.
She condemned Councilor Rannie Ludovica’s social media post about shooting violators dead, saying it was irresponsible and wrong.
In the same breath, she said Ludovica was merely expressing his frustration over the rampant violations of minimum health standards against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Ang pahayag po ng pinuno ng Task Force Disiplina na si konsehal Rannie Ludovica ay amin pong kinukondena, ito po ay mali, it is inappropriate, it is irresponsible, at gusto ko lamang po bigyan ng diin na ito po ay pinost niya sa kanyang Facebook account na personal at hindi po ito sumasalamin sa mga polisiya at sa mga prinsipyo ng Pamahalan ng Lungsod Quezon,” Belmonte said in a public briefing Tuesday.
(We condemn the statement of Task Force Disiplina head, Councilor Rannie Ludovica. It was wrong, inappropriate and irresponsible. I would like to stress that he posted this on his personal Facebook account and this does not reflect the policies of the Quezon City Government.)
On August 3, Ludovica posted on his Facebook account that violators of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) rules will be shot dead.
"Mula bukas, shoot to kill na ang lalabag sa MECQ,” his post, which went viral, read.
Belmonte said Ludovica was frustrated by the failure of Quezon City residents to comply with quarantine rules.
“Frustrated po siya sapagkat limang buwan na po tayong nagpapaalala sa mga tao na mag suot ng mask, huwag lumabas ng mga tahanan. Pero pagkatapos ng limang buwan ay napagmamasdan pa rin natin ito at tingin niya ‘yan ay naging dahilan kung bakit tumaas ang mga bilang natin,” she said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Ludovica’s post was “improper and illegal.”
“While we strongly believe that discipline is one of the preventive measures to stop the transmission of the coronavirus, 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,” he said.
“The penalties to be imposed by local government units against quarantine violators must be within the bounds of their respective ordinances,” he added.
Malaya said “department heads must be circumspect in their social media posts since this may be mistaken by their constituents as official LGU policy.”
“In imposing discipline, we must also act in a disciplined manner at all times,” Malaya said.
In another post, Ludovica clarified that the QC government has no such policy and it was his personal statement.
"Nagmula ang nasabing personal na Facebook post ng inyong lingkod sa aking pagkadismaya sa pagbalik natin mula sa GCQ to MECQ," he said.
"Patuloy na tumataas ang bilang ng Covid-19 sa lungsod at buong bansa dahil sa kawalan ng disiplina ng karamihan sa ating mga mamamayan at paglabag nila sa batas," he added.
He urged the public to comply with the protocols being imposed by the government to help address the coronavirus pandemic.
Quezon City and the rest of the highly urbanized cities as well as Patero town in Metro Manila are under MECQ until August 15 because of increasing cases of Covid-19. (Jove Moya and Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo)