Citizen’s arrest in Lapu-Lapu mulled
For people not wearing face masks
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Due to the continuing rise in the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan is mulling to allow “citizen’s arrest” for individuals caught not wearing face masks in public places.
“Ang dili pagsul-ob sa facemask maoy pinakadaling paagi nga makakuha o makatakod ka sa virus ug usa sa mga hinungdan nganong nagkasaka ang atong kaso,” said Chan in a statement.
(You can get the virus easily and fast if you’re not wearing face masks. And people not wearing them could be one of the reasons why our cases continue to rise.)
Chan also said he is urging the city council of Lapu-Lapu to pass an ordinance authorizing the city government to implement guidelines in doing citizen’s arrest.
“Akong gihangyo ang atong mga konsehales sa Sangguniang Panglungsod ug sa atong pinalanggang Bise Mayor Celsi Sitoy nga sabton ang akong habig ug makita ang tinuoray nato nga katuyoan para akong isugyot nga ordinansa,” said Chan.
(I am requesting our city councilors and Vice Mayor Celsi Sitoy to take my suggestion into consideration and that they will be able to understand its urgency.)
On July 3, Chan announced that the city recorded an additional 86 more COVID-19 cases, and at least 12 of them happened to be police officers battling the outbreak on the frontlines.
“Sila ang mga frontliners nga atong gitahasan para magbantay sa atong mga checkpoints ug magpatuman sa atong mga balaod apil na ang pagsiguro nga nagsul-ob og facemask ang mga katawhan,” Chan said.
(They are our frontliners tasked in our checkpoints to ensure the public is complying with the rules, including wearing face masks.)
According to the mayor, wearing face masks in public places would greatly help lessen the number of frontliners afflicted with COVID-19.
“Sa maong paagi, atong matabangan ang atong mga kapulisan para sa pagsikop sa mga badlungon bisan sa mga suok nga lugar ug magmatngon gayod ang mga katawhan sa pagsul-ob sa ilang mga facemask sa tanang lugar nga ilang adtoan,” added Chan.
(In this way, we will be able to help our policemen enforce the laws and apprehend other violators even in the interior parts of the community, and people will learn to adapt wearing face masks in the places they’ll be going.)
If the city council will enact Chan’s proposal, residents in Lapu-Lapu City will be able to report to police and the city government those who are not wearing face masks.
They are advised to secure evidence such as photos or videos in submitting their complaints before government officials.
“Concerned citizens” are also entitled to a reward if enforcers will be able to trace and apprehend the person reported.
Violators, on the other hand, will be fined with P1,000 for first-offense. It will increase to P2,000 for second offense.
Half of each category of fines will be given to the person who helped enforcers catch those not wearing face masks.
“Among isiguro nga matago ang identity sa nagsumbong para malikayan ang kagubot,” said Chan.
(We will ensure that the identity of concerned citizens will remain confidential in order to avoid conflicts)
As of July 3, there are over 700 COVID-19 cases documented in Lapu-Lapu City, with 23 deaths and 137 recoveries. The city remains under general community quarantine. /bmjo
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