QC task force head under fire for 'shoot-to-kill' threat vs quarantine violators

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2020 01:10 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2020 01:41 AM

MANILA - The head of the Quezon City local government's Task Force Disiplina has drawn flak for saying that violators of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) should be shot dead.

Rannie Ludovica, a former city councilor, in a post on his personal Facebook account, said "Mula bukas shoot to kill na ang mga lalabag sa MECQ."

The post has been reportedly taken down but several netizens posted screenshots of his statement.

In a previous post, Ludovica blamed residents of Everlasting Street of Barangay Holy Spirit for the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"Dapat sa inyo, pa...t yin," he said.

Ludovica' s latest statement drew flak from Quezon City residents, including Senator Risa Hontiveros, who said she will be working personally to hold Ludovica responsible for his statement.

"As a QC resident for the last 35 yrs, I will personally work to hold this public official accountable for inciting violence vs civilians," Hontiveros said in a tweet, tagging Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and the Commission on Human Rights.

"Hindi tayo aatras sa pagpapaalala sa mga abusadong opisyales kagaya nito na walang nalulutas sa dahas. Hindi tama ang konduktang ito mula sa isang opisyal ng gobyerno. Gawin natin ang trabaho natin nang walang pagbabanta ng patayan sa gitna ng pandemya," she added.

Quezon City Councilor Irene Belmonte also expressed dismay over Ludovica's statement.

"This is a VERY IRRESPONSIBLE statement by one of our department. We will not tolerate or encourage any form of violence in our city. This is totally unacceptable behavior," she tweeted, also tagging the city government's Twitter account.

Sought for comment, Mayor Joy Belmonte said the personal post of Ludovica isn't reflective of the policies of the city.

"I think it was very wrong and in very poor taste for him to have posted this message and I'd like to assure the people of Quezon City that his personal post in no way reflects our city's policies, principles and inclinations." Belmonte told ABS-CBN News.

However, Belmonte reminded netizens not to take Ludovica's statements literally.

"I see it more as an expression of frustration that five months into the quarantine, the cases still keep growing, party (sic) because people can't seem to comply with minimum health standards." the mayor added.

Back in April, members of the city's Task Force Disiplina and barangay officials were caught on video mauling a fish vendor for not having a quarantine pass and face mask while selling fish in Panay Avenue.

Ludovica has yet to respond to queries from ABS-CBN News regarding the row.