PROBE chief apologizes for viral video of street vendor apprehension
CEBU CITY, Philippine — A video of a street vendor apprehended by personnel of the Cebu City Prevention, Restoration, Beautiful, and Enhancement (Probe) angered many netizens who described the act as “inhuman” and “unfair.”
The incident happened on Thursday afternoon, November 21, along A. Soriano Avenue in Barangay Mabolo.
The video, which was posted by Joseph Deriada at around 5 p.m. on November 21, now has 1.5 million views, 35,000 reactions, 26,000 comments, and 68,000 shares.
Sad scene in front of SM City Cebu this afternoon. I know these guys are only doing their jobs, pero there are proper ways to do it naman siguro in a more moral and humane manner. Prayers para kay kuya vendor. 💔
Posted by Joseph Deriada on Thursday, November 21, 2019
On Friday, November 22, Probe chief Raquel Arce apologized for what happened and called the incident “unfortunate.”
WATCH: Cebu City PROBE chief Racquel Arce apologises for the incident involving a vendor apprehended near a mall in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City on Thursday afternoon, November 21, 2019. | Delta Letigio #CDNDigital
Posted by CDN Digital on Thursday, November 21, 2019
Arce said vendors should not be harassed during clearing operations. She said erring vendors should be dealt in a humane manner even when they resist.
Arce said she requested the Cebu City Legal Office to conduct an investigation into the personnel involved in the video to ensure a fair and unbiased probe.
“Gusto ko mangayog apology sa situation, incident nga nahitabo to gahapon. Mangayo kog sorry nganong na ingon ato to. Pero sa ako lang, habig sad sa atong operatives, based on my investigation, napuno nalang to sila kay katulo na siya gibadlong ug gipapahawa diha,” said Arce.
(I want to ask for an apology for the situation, the incident that happened yesterday. I am sorry that it happened. But on the part of the operatives, based on my investigation, they lost patience because they already asked the vendor to leave the area thrice.)
Arce said the vendor, who is a resident of Mandaue City, was caught at least four times in various areas in Cebu City including Colon Street and Osmeña Boulevard.
For the first three apprehensions, the vendor was allowed to redeem his goods after 24 hours.
He was no longer allowed to redeem his goods the fourth them he was apprehended.
“Maybe that is why he resisted because he knows he can no longer redeem his goods,” said Arce.
Any perishable food and other goods confiscated from the vendors are donated to the city’s community scouts.
The children of the community scouts are the recipients of perishable goods confiscated by the Probe.
Arce said Probe follows a protocol where vendors are brought to the Probe headquarters, where it is explained to the vendor his or her violation.
She said the operatives should have invited the vendor to the Probe headquarters instead of insisting to confiscate the goods.
Arce assured the public that the operatives will be accorded with due process and the incident will be thoroughly investigated. / celr
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