DILG warns Anakpawis not to violate ECQ again after members were released on bail

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2020   •   772

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday warned the Anakpawis group not to violate the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) regulations again following their release from detention.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the warning after former Anakpawis Party-list representative Ariel Casilao and six other members have posted bail amounting to P264,000 on Wednesday night, April 22, following their arrest and detention for allegedly disobeying ECQ rules when they conducted “unauthorized” relief operations in Norzagaray Bulacan.

The group was apprehended after their jeepney was flagged down at a quarantine control point in Barangay Bigte around 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 19.

The vehicle was carrying six individuals with 50 packs of relief goods. Police said that some propaganda materials were also found inside the vehicle upon their inspection.

Año said the group “took advantage of the provision granted to food pass holders and violated physical distancing protocols with an attempt to organize mass gathering in the guise of relief efforts for the poor.”

“They were in violation of ECQ guidelines at the time when the entire country is struggling to contain the coronavirus to prevent further transmission. Ang ganitong mga paglabag ay hindi lamang taliwas sa batas ngunit isang banta sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan,” Año said.

Should the group violate the quarantine protocols again, the DILG chief said Anakpawis members will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Now that they have posted bail, we hope that they will not do it again dahil hindi naman tayo magdadalawang-isip na dakpin silang muli,” he said.

He also warned that no one will be spared if they are found violating the quarantine guidelines set by the national government.

“The Anakpawis incident was a clear demonstration of how food pass can be exploited for malicious intents in the guise of relief operation for the poor. Sinabi na din po ng Department of Agriculture (DA) na hindi po maaaring gamitin ang food pass sa pamamahagi ng relief goods,” he adds.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier clarified that food pass cannot be used for relief operations as it is a privilege given to producers, suppliers and truckers that procure and deliver agri-fishery commodities and other food products to and from Manila and other provinces during the observance of the ECQ.

Following the Anakpawis incident, the DILG directed the Philippine National Police to be vigilant and always be on the lookout for unauthorized usage of food pass in all checkpoints.

“Walang pinipili ang mga manloloko at mga kriminal na ito, maging ang krisis na tulad ng COVID-19 kaya I urge the men and women of the PNP manning our checkpoints to be vigilant in checking food passes at tiyakin na ito ay hindi peke at hindi magagamit sa anumang iligal na aktibidad,”Año said.

“PNP’s consistent presence at checkpoints and their vigilance in counterchecking requisites such as the food pass and other permits can aid in ensuring that only permissible entities can pass through,” he added.

DILG warns public, says no such thing as ‘COVID vaccination exemption cards’

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

Image from DILG

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday said that there is no such thing as “COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards.”

“The public is warned that there is no such thing as a ‘vaccination exemption card.’ This is not authorized, issued, nor recognized by the government. In other words, these are fake,” DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said they have received reports that this card supposedly originated from Facebook groups and group chats in Davao Region and Soccsksargen that can allegedly be registered to local government units (LGUs).

The cards are also supposedly recognized by local authorities in lieu of COVID-19 vaccination cards.

According to reports, people are being asked to put their name, birthdate, address, and signatures on the green vaccination exemption card being shared in FB groups and group chats, have the cards printed, laminated, and registered to their barangay/city/municipal LGUs.

“The so-called exemption cards look similar to the green COVID-19 Vaccination Cards being issued by several LGUs,” Malaya said.

“Sa biglang tingin aakalain itong tunay dahil pareho ng kulay, format at hitsura,” he added.

Malaya said the government will never issue nor recognize such cards because this runs counter to the government’s national vaccination program to inoculate the majority of the populace to achieve population protection.

He also called on local authorities to be more vigilant in their inspection of vaccination cards at provincial and regional borders amid restrictions being implemented for unvaccinated people.

DILG tells PNP to provide security for media members during 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide security for members of the media who may face threats or intimidation during the course of the 2022 elections.

In a statement, the DILG said the PNP should designate media security focal persons in each province and city nationwide to provide a mantle of protection for media workers.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Secretary Eduardo Año has issued a memorandum to PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos regarding the matter.

This was in response to the request of Presidential Task Force of Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Sy Egco in anticipation of a possible increase in violent incidents involving media personnel during the election season.

“We are one with the PTFoMS in providing security and other protective measures for media workers. They deserve to be shielded from every form of harm that they might be exposed to in the line of duty particularly during elections,” Año said.

“The 4th Estate is an integral part of our democracy and government’s partner for a more peaceful, honest and orderly polls,” he added.

Based on the memorandum, the PNP is directed to designate a focal person for media security, who will be the first to receive information and respond to any threats leveled against a media worker.

The focal person shall also directly coordinate with assigned Special Agents of the PTFoMS and assist the Task Force in expediting the resolution of cases of violence against journalists.

Malaya said the DILG shares the concern of the PTFoMS on the welfare of media workers who face the threat of violence, especially during the election season.

He recalled the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in November 2009 that claimed the lives of 58 people, including 32 members of the media who were covering the filing of candidacy of a local politician.

“The infamous massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in November 2009 is a constant reminder that media workers are mostly vulnerable a few months before, during and a few months after every elections,” Malaya said.

Mga barangay, pinagsusumite ng listahan ng mga residenteng bakunado at ‘di bakunado vs COVID-19 – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ang mga barangay na magsumite ng listahan ng mga residente na bakunado na at hindi pa bakunado laban sa COVID-19.

Sa isang panayam, sinabi ni DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya na ang kautusan ay inilabas ni Secretary Eduardo Año sa layuning magkaroon ng imbentaryo ng mga barangay ng mga nabakunahan na at hindi pa bakunado sa gitna na rin ng tumataas na namang coronavirus infections.

Ito aniya ay kaugnay na rin ng direktiba ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na higpitan ang paglabas ng mga hindi pa bakunado para maprotektahan sila laban sa coronavirus disease.

“Para po masigurado natin ang datos natin ng mga unvaccinated, nagpalabas po si Sec. Año ng memorandum circular para po magsagawa ng imbentaryo ang lahat ng mga barangay sa buong bansa para malaman ‘yung mga ‘di pa nagpapabakuna sa mga barangay in line of the pronouncement of the president,” ani Malaya.

Oras aniya na maihanda ang imbentaryo ay maaari nang simulan ang pagpapatupad ng restrictions sa galaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado, alinsunod sa ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.

Sa Metro Manila, tatlong lungsod na lang ang hindi pa nakapagpapasa ng ordinansa na nagtatakda ng restrictions sa mga unvaccinated partikular na ang Pasig, Navotas at Makati.

“I would expect in the next few days ay lahat, all 17 LGUs in Metro Manila will have their own ordinance enforcing the president’s directive,” ani Malaya.

Inaasahan rin ng DILG na magpapasa ng kaparehong ordinansa ang mga lalawigan dahil naglabas na ng resolusyon ang League of the Provinces of the Philippines na humihikayat sa mga miyembro na gawin ito.

Obligado aniya ang mga barangay na masumite ng inventory ng mga ‘di pa bakunado kada buwan. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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