MANILA - Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte condemned on Tuesday the "shoot to kill" threat a local official made against community quarantine violators in the city as a stricter lockdown was imposed in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Belmonte said it was "irresponsible" for Rannie Ludovica, head the Quezon City local government's Task Force Disiplina, to say that violators of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) should be shot dead.
"Ito po ay mali (It was wrong). It is inappropriate. It is irresponsible," the mayor said during a Palace press briefing.
Ludovica drew flak on social media for a post on his personal Facebook account that read: "Mula bukas shoot to kill na ang mga lalabag sa MECQ" as Metro Manila reverted to a stricter quarantine.
The post has been reportedly taken down but several netizens posted screenshots of his statement.
Belmonte said Ludovica's post was a personal one and was done out of "frustration" as she distanced the Quezon City local government.
"Gusto ko lang po bigyang diin na ito ay pinost niya sa Facebook account niyang personal at hindi po ito sumasalamin sa mga polisiya, sa mga prinsipyo ng pamahalaang lungsod ng Quezon," Belmonte said.
(I wish to emphasize that his Facebook was a personal one. It doesn't represent the policies and principles of the Quezon City government.)
"Wala naman pong katotohanan sa kaniyang pinost. Wala po siyang masamang intensyon," she added.
(There is no truth to his post. There was no wrong intention.)
Ludovica has since clarified that his "shoot to kill" post is not official policy of the Quezon City local government but not without blaming news website Rappler for its report on his statement.
"Bilang paglilinaw, walang ganitong polisiya ang Pamahalaang Lungsod Quezon. Ang aking personal Facebook post lamang ang pinagbatayan ng Rappler ng malisyosong impormasyon na ito upang palabasin na pormal na polisiya ito ng lungsod," Ludovica wrote.
(For clarification, this is not a policy of Quezon City. My personal Facebook post was the only basis of Rappler for the malicious information to make it appear that it was a policy of the city.)
Rappler, in its report, however, did not say that Ludovica's statement was official policy of Quezon City.