MANILA - Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano clarified on Wednesday that he was not singling out any building but only wants equal enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine.
"Yung rules sa isang building, rules sa lahat," Cayetano said on ANC.
(The rules apply to all buildings.)
This, after the management of the Pacific Plaza Towers Condominium in Taguig City threatened legal actions against policemen who allegedly barged into their property and accosted and shouted at residents.
Since the end of March, Cayetano said police personnel have been going around buildings in Taguig to ensure that the enhanced community quarantine is followed.
"We realized that PNP has to be active 'di lang sa mga kalsada, palengke kung 'di sa mga areas na matataas ang kaso ng COVID. Sa buong Taguig, ang pinakamataas na barangay ay Barangay Bonifacio. We've been receiving a lot of complaints about the use of common areas, yung iba bukas daw ang pool, bukas ang gym. Parte lang ng trabaho ko bilang chief executive is to implement community quarantine," he said.
(We realized that PNP has to be active not only in the streets and markets but also in areas where there is a high number of COVID cases. In the entire Taguig, Barangay Bonifacio has the most number of cases. We've been receiving a lot of complaints about the use of common areas, other say pools and gyms remain open. Part of my job as chief executive is to implement community quarantine.)
He explained that on that particular day, the police checked around 4 to 5 buildings. They have not encountered any problem except for the last building, he said.
"Hindi ko pinapunta ang pulis, patuloy itong operasyon ng pulis. In fact, hindi lang ng pulis, ang Bureau of Fire ang in charge sa tinatawag namin sa Taguig na containment unit and also in the city of Taguig, it has one of the lowest transmission of the virus in NCR. May maganda naidulot yung sistemang ini-implement natin," he said.
(I did not order the police to go there, it was continuing operation of the police. In fact, it's not only the police, the Bureau of Fire is in charge with what we call containment unit.)
The policemen allegedly entered the condominium premises and berated residents for not following guidelines.
"Yung incident na yun we're investigating bakit nagsisigaw yung pulis," said Cayetano.
(We're investigating that incident on why the policeman shouted.)
But Cayetano said the association of buildings in BGC will be issuing a statement in support of the police.
He said policemen went to the said building three times to remind residents about using the common space during the lockdown, but nobody followed authorities.
"Pangatlong beses dumating na commander ng station nating sa BGC and that's when he saw through the glass, dahil hindi na niya kailangang pumasok sa lobby pa lang kita na niya, na nandoon pa rin, hindi pa rin kumikilos," he said.
(On the third occasion, the commander of the BGC station arrived and saw through that glass that residents were still not complying.)
Cayetano said the letter issued by the management challenges the right of government to implement the ECQ.
"That is something we're not accepting dahil nagsalita na ang PNP, ang NCRPO ang DILG —karapatan at obligasyon namin na siguraduhin na safe ang lahat ng buildings," he said.
(That is something we're not accepting because the PNP, the NCRPO and the DILG have spoken that its our right and obligation to ensure the safety of all buildings.)
The local chief executive maintained that it is also their right to immediately act during a public health emergency.
"Marami kaming trabaho hindi yung makipag-away lang sa isang building. Yung ngayon pa lang wala nang disiplina ang mga kababayan natin, kung ngayon pa lang na enhanced community quarantine hindi na tao sumusunod, paano magbubukas ang ekonomiya?" he asked.
(We have a lot to do than just to argue with one building. How can we open the economy if there is no discipline, if people do not follow the enhanced community quarantine?)
He said the matter will be investigated thoroughly.
"Soon I will have a report and I will report it to our PLEBE (People's Law Enforcement Board). Pero 3 beses siyang bumalik at hindi siya pinansin," he said.
He reminded that the rule on ECQ is simple and that people must only leave their homes to buy essentials and for emergencies.
"Pag lumabas tayo ng tahanan (When you leave the house) to do other than buy essentials and for emergencies, it is in violation of the enhanced community quarantine. If you congregate in one area, we believe it violates the enhanced community quarantine. We apply the rules equally, hindi namin sinasabi na walang nagba-violate na ibang building kaya nga lahat ng building chine-check, lahat pinapakiusapan, (we're not saying that other buildings are not violating the rules that's why all buildings are being checked, and that's why we are asking them to follow the rules.) " he said.