CALOOCAN CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco has issued a stern warning to all barangay officials implementing the stringent isolation protocols in the city: Cause the arrest of violators of the enhanced community quarantine or resign for negligence.
"If they fail to do so," Tiangco said, "the officials should resign for neglecting their duty to keep their constituents safe."
The mayor said village officials should dissuade residents from loitering outside their homes.
In a memorandum dated March 24, 2020, Tiangco noted that Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code recognized barangay leaders as "persons in authority" and they are "charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property."
"It is not, therefore, discretionary on the part of the barangay captain, the barangay kagawads and persons acting under them whether or not to cause the arrest of those who violate the enhanced community quarantine for violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code," he emphasized.
"To refuse to cause their arrest and prosecution is tantamount to gross neglect of duty. Kung ayaw ninyo manghuli o hindi ninyo kaya manghuli, mag-resign na lang kayo kesa mapahamak ang mga residente sa barangay ninyo," he added.
The mayor also required barangay captains to send a daily report every 12 noon of people they have brought to the Navotas City Police headquarters.
"Quarantine or staying home is the most effective way to fight or prevent the Corona Virus Disease 2019. This is what health experts are telling us. This is what frontliners all over the world are asking us to do. That's why we need to implement stringent measures to keep our constituents safe," he explained.
Tiangco also justified first-time offenders being taken to jail, he said: "Those who disobey the quarantine commit a criminal offense for violating Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code. Their hard-headedness and lack of concern for their health could endanger and cause death to others, especially those who are vulnerable to the disease."
"Since COVID-19 does not give a first warning, the same goes for the punishment of violators of the quarantine," he said in response to those requesting that a warning be given for first time violators instead of being brought to jail.
As of 6 a.m. of March 25, Task Force NavoDAMPOT has apprehended 55 violators, bringing the total to 269. In contrast, barangays have brought only a few to the police station. (PIA NCR)