Makabayan bloc condemns arrest of QC residents protesting alleged lack of food relief
Aileen Cerrudo • April 1, 2020 • 623
The Makabayan Bloc has condemned the arrest of several residents of Sitio San Roque, Quezon City who staged a protest on Wednesday afternoon (April 1) for not receiving food relief from the government.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat said it is the government’s responsibility to provide aid to the poor residents especially those whose jobs were heavily affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
She also called on the Quezon City government to take action and appealed for the 20 arrested residents’ release.
“Nananawagan ako sa mga pulis at kay Mayor Belmonte na pumagitna na sa usaping ito, bigyan ng kinakailangang ayuda ang mga tao ng Sitio San Roque, at pakawalan agad ang lahat ng kanilang hinuli, (We are calling on the police and Mayor Joy Belmonte to mediate in this issue and provide the needed aid for the residents of Sitio San Roque, and release those they have arrested),” she said.
Gabriela Women’s Party also condemned the said arrests and said that state forces are pushing poor families into a more difficult situation for continuing the mass arrests.
The partylist also said there was no need for an arrest since the residents were only asking for food from the government amid the month-long lockdown.
“Using excessive force and detention will not quell the empty stomachs of Filipinos who up to this day remains denied of the promised P200-billion cash aid for the poor,” their statement reads.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned anew against public assembly especially during the time of a national health emergency.
PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac reminded residents to just remain in their homes to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Government remains responsive to their concerns, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has assured that the needy will benefit most of the P200 billion social amelioration program rolled out by the government,” he said.-AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
Metro Manila has a possibility to transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) after May 31, according to the Malacañang.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is a chance that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions might ease in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) held a meeting on Wednesday (May 27) to determine if the MECQ should continue after May 31.
“Chances are we will, in fact, be transitioning to GCQ in Metro Manila, according to the chief implementer and the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] Secretary,” Roque said in a statement.
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) is also recommending to the IATF to put the National Capital Region under GCQ.
Once Metro Manila transitioned to GCQ, Roque said public transportation will resume operations but will have limited capacity.
He also appealed to the private and public sectors to finalize their work scheme where 50% will resume in worksites and 50% will work from home.
“We are appealing to both private and public sectors to ensure at least 50-50 workforce,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) might be put under General Community Quarantine by June, according to the Deparment of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday (May 26), DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said they are looking into implementin lockdowns in specific areas with high coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
“Kahit iyan ay naka-GCQ, pwede pa rin mag-declare ang mga local chief executive ng critical areas. Ito iyong mga lugar na mayroong 20 or plus na cases, (Even if [the area] is under GCQ, local chief executives can still declare critical areas. These are areas with 20 or plus cases)” he said.
There will also be lesser number of checkpoints by June, the DILG secretary added. From checkpoints situated in every boundaries of cities, it will be limited to specific areas.
“Mayroon tayong tinatawag na modified checkpoints para hindi na masyadong magbuhol-buhol ang trapiko, (We have something that we call modified checkpoints to ease the traffic)” Año said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
Amid the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the Quezon City government has provided guidelines for business establishments that will resume operations.
The local government provided a list of establishments that will be allowed to operate at full or limited capacity and ones that are not allowed to open.
Several establishments that will be allowed to resume full operations include essential retailers like supermarkets, medical and hygiene product manufacture or distribution, laundry shops, and logistics and delivery services.
Establishments with limited operations include hotels, veterinary clinics, and general manufacturing and production.
Meanwhile, cinemas, gyms and other fitness centers, museums, and other establishments for leisure are still not allowed to operate.
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