DOJ reiterates law enforcers should not interfere with community pantries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021   •   364

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reiterated that law enforcement agents should not interfere with anyone doing good deeds which include setting up community pantries.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said a law enforcer should also not question individuals involved in community pantries unless they are violating laws.

“Suffice it to say that a person voluntarily doing an act of kindness and compassion toward his neighbor should be left alone,” he said.

“It is not proper for law enforcement agents to interrogate him unless there is reason to believe that he is violating any law, ordinance, rule, or regulation for the good or welfare of the community,” he added.

However, Guevarra refused to comment if police authorities violated the privacy act in gathering information about the organizers of community pantries. He also clarified that organizers are not required to fill out forms.

“Organizers of community pantries have no legal duty or are under any compulsion to fill out any forms, as these are not considered business, much less illegal activities,” he said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Ilang community pantry organizer, tutol sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umaabot na sa mahigit 6,000 ang bilang ng mga community pantry na nagbukas sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa batay sa huling tala ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Bawat araw ay daan-daan ang pumipila sa mga community pantry upang makakuha ng supply ng pagkain sa gitna na rin ng pandemiya.

Upang matiyak na naipatutupad ng maayos ang health protocols at maiwasan ang posibleng hawaan ng COVID-19, nagsasagawa ng patrolya sa mga community pantry ang mga tauhan ng pambansang pulisya.

Ngunit ayon sa ilang organizer, hindi na kailangan ang presensiya ng mga pulis dahil tumutulong naman ang mga opisyal ng barangay sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan.

Ayon kay Jerome Adonis, ang secretary-general ng Kilusang Mayo Uno, hindi sila sang-ayon sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis lalo’t una nang napaulat ang umano’y ginagawang profiling sa mga organizer ng community pantry

“Hindi kami agree duon, kasi unang-una napaka dungis na ng imahe ng Philippine National Police sa ating mga kababayan lalo na dito sa pantry dahil nabuko na yung kanilang maiitim na balakin nung nakaraan na iprofile yung mga kababayan natin,” ang wika ni Adonis.

“Kasi kaya naman syang i-handle ng barangay, hindi kailangan ang pulis,” dagdag pa niya.

Kung ang mga pumipila naman sa community pantry ang tatanungin, mas maiging may nakabantay na mga pulis upang masegurong maayos ang pila ng mga tao.

Wala rin umano silang nararamdamang takot kahiit pa mag-ikot ang mga pulis sa lugar.

“Mas maganda nga po yung may pulis kasi naaayos po yung mga pila kasi po ang karamihan dito mga pasaway po yung iba,” ani Jane Estrera na isa sa mga benepisyaryo ng community pantry.

“Okay lang, kasi nababantayan ng maayos yung mga pila tapos nakikita kung talagang susunod sa protocol ng gobyerno para maiwasan din namagkahawa-hawa sa virus,” ang wika naman ng isa pang pumipila sa community pantry na si Mhaby Galima.
Paglilinaw naman ng Manila Police District (MPD), hindi permanente ang ginagawang nilang pagbabantay sa ma community pantry dahil may kani-kaniyang ring assigned areas ang mga pulis.

Ayon kay MPD director Police Brigadier General Leo Francisco, nagpapadala lamang sila ng mga tauhan sa isang community pantry kung kinakailangan o kaya ay hiniling ng mga organizer.

“Unless na hindi humihingi sa amin yung community pantry na talagang duon sila, hindi kami required na ganun pero we are required to patrol and see them kung sila ay orderly, kung yung minimum health protocol ay naipatutupad sa community pantry na yun,” ani Francisco.

Una nang idinipensa ni PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar ang ginagawang pag-iikot ng mga pulis sa community pantries at iginiit na bahagi ng tungkulin ng pulisya ang magbantay sa publiko at magbigay ng ayuda kung kinakailangan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nuñez)

DOJ completes guidelines on the arrest of health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed the guidelines in arresting violators of health and safety protocols.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the department is ready to present the guidelines to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). He added that they will be coordinating with the DILG in a few days.

“The guidelines will not add anything to the substantive aspect. Only as to the procedure on arrest and detention until the filing of charges, if warranted,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has previously ordered the DOJ to draft guidelines to avoid any complications concerning the arrest.

This will also prevent overcrowding in detention centers.  Health and safety protocols will still be followed to avert the spread of the virus in detention centers.

“Fully aware of the complications that may arise from effecting arrests of persons not wearing face masks were required (such as the problem of congested jails or detention centers),” he added. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOJ, DILG crafting guidelines for Duterte order to detain people improperly wearing face masks

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are crafting guidelines for the latest order of President Rodrigo Duterte to detain those who are improperly wearing face masks in public, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said the guidelines will include details on the booking and detention processes, as well as the investigation and the filing of charges against those who will be apprehended.

The DOJ chief, however, stressed that Duterte’s order takes effect immediately even if the guidelines are still being formulated.

“The President’s directive takes effect immediately even without the guidelines. Existing laws and ordinances define the prohibited acts and impose the corresponding penalties therefore, and the relevant rules of court govern the procedure,” Guevarra said.

He also advised the public to wear face masks properly and to follow the law to avoid being detained.

“The best way to avoid being arrested while the guidelines are being formulated is to wear a face mask and obey the law,” he said.

On Wednesday, Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police to impose a stricter mask mandate to stem the spread of COVID-19 that mostly affected urban centers.

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