Robredo to police, military: ‘Coronavirus is the enemy, not Filipinos’
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo urged the police and the military to be more humane in performing their duties as parts of the country remained under lockdown due to the coronavirus.
Robredo made the call on Tuesday, April 28, in a public address streamed through Facebook from her Quezon City office, which is now filled with protective gear and other supplies to be donated to frontliners across the country.
She told the police and the military to stay calm whenever they would have to apprehend violators of quarantine rules.
“Sa unipormadong hanay: Maging mahinahon tayo sa pagpapaalala sa mga patakaran ng social distancing. Virus ang kalaban natin, at hindi ang ating kapwa Pilipino. Maging makatao sana tayo sa pagpapatupad ng anumang atas o tungkulin,” the Vice President.
(To the uniformed personnel: Stay calm when reminding the public about the rules on social distancing. The coronavirus is our enemy, not Filipinos. May you be humane in implementing any orders or tasks.)
She then told Filipinos to also understand the work that law enforcers need to do as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa mga kailangang lumabas para mamili ng pangunahing pangangailangan: Sumunod sa social distancing, kumilos nang mabilis, at intindihing kabilang ang unipormadong hanay sa nabibilad sa panganib para siguruhing ligtas tayo,” Robredo said.
(To those who need to go out to buy basic needs: Following social distancing, move fast, and understand that our uniformed personnel are also among those exposed to risks to ensure your safety.)
The Vice President previously said the police should be strict but non-violent in enforcing lockdown rules.
Robredo's comments come a week after the killing of retired corporal Winston Ragos, a former Army personnel who was shot dead by Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr for supposedly breaking quarantine rules in Quezon City.
Ragos was given a hero's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on Sunday, April 26, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines rendering full military honors.
Also on Sunday, Javier Salvador Parra, a resident of the posh Dasmariñas Village in Makati City, was assaulted by a cop after engaging in a heated confrontation over a house helper's failure to wear a face mask while watering her employer's plants.
The Makati Police said their its intended to arrest Parra because the latter went "berserk" and cursed at the cops. They have already filed a complaint against him. Parra also intends to sue the police. (READ: Gamboa: Police officer's use of force necessary vs 'bulky' Makati resident)
One people, one goal
On Tuesday, the Vice President said all Filipinos – both ordinary citizens and law enforcers alike – are all aiming for one thing: to beat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Binibigkis tayo ng iisang layunin: Ayaw nating may magdusa o mamatay, nang dahil man sa COVID-19, o nang dahil sa kahirapan. Iisa ang batayang kaisipan ng lahat ng ating pagkilos: ang mabuhay. Tungkulin ng lahat ang manatili sa mga tahanan hangga't maaari, para maampat ang pagkalat ng virus,” she said.
(We are joined together by one goal: We don't want to suffer or die, whether because of COVID-19 or poverty. We are all guided by one thing: to stay alive. It is then all our responsibility to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of the virus.)
Robredo also said the only way to overcome the health crisis is if all sectors work together.
“Darating ang araw ng ating tagumpay laban sa virus na ito. Maaampat ang pagkalat, makakapag-develop ng bakuna, at makakatuklas ng lunas laban sa sakit na ito. Haharap tayong muli sa mundo at mayayakap muli ang ating mga mahal sa buhay,” Robredo said.
(The day will come when we would triumph over this virus. We would be able to contain the spread, develop a vaccine, and discover a cure against this disease. We would once again face the world and hug our loved ones.)
“Ngunit bago dumating ang araw na iyon, kailangan nating magkaisa, magtulungan, at ipamalas ang buong lakas ng sambayanang nagbabayanihan sa ilalim ng iisang layunin,” she added.
(But before the day comes, we first need to unite, to cooperate, and to show how strong our nation that is working together towards one goal.)
Robredo said her office will continue accepting donations for frontliners until April 30. To date, the Vice President, the partners of her flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay, and donors have raised P57.23 million to provide frontliners with free personal protective equipment, food packs, and other supplies.
They also operated a free shuttle service for health workers for a month and are currently operating 15 free dormitories for frontliners in parts of Luzon and the Visayas. – Rappler.com