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Duterte: Arrest the unvaxxed

Village chiefs tasked to ban them outside, detain those who defy orders

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered barangay officials to arrest unvaccinated people who would insist on leaving their houses despite curbs on their mobility under Alert Level 3.

FINALLY GETTING VAXXED. People flock to the vaccination site at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on January 6, 2022 to receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose as the government imposes mobility curbs on unvaccinated residents of Metro Manila under Alert Level 3. Manny Palmero 

“I am now giving orders to the barangay captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just request them or order them if you may to stay put,” Duterte said in his Talk to the People yesterday.

“If he refuses, if he goes out of the house and goes around the community, he can be restrained. If he refuses, the barangay captain, being a person of authority, has the power to arrest,” the President added.

A resolution of the Metro Manila Council barring the unvaccinated from going outside their homes under Alert Level 3 or higher took effect immediately as all 17 mayors in the National Capital Region unanimously approved the resolution and adopted their respective ordinances for its implementation.

On Monday, the MMC, composed of the 17 NCR mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) issued a resolution urging local government units in the NCR to issue ordinances barring the unvaccinated from going outside their homes.

However, the unvaccinated and minors are exempted if they are procuring essential goods and services, going to work, or doing individual outdoor exercise.

In an earlier address to the nation this week, Duterte told barangay captains they can call the cops to help them arrest unvaccinated people who refuse to heed health protocols.

If there are no cops, he said barangay captains are allowed to “use reasonable force” on unvaccinated people who resist.

“Remember, this is not police brutality. If you refuse to be arrested, then the policeman is negligent of his duty to place the offender or the culprit under his control. And if you resist the arrest, you are now also committing a crime of resisting arrest,” the President said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is ready to assist in the enforcement of mandates that would require the public to present valid vaccination cards upon entry to malls and other establishments.

PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said the police are duty-bound to enforce ordinances and executive orders passed by local government units.

“We asked our personnel on the ground to coordinate properly with the LGUs so there will be a clear and uniform direction on how to implement ordinances, including the exemptions to the rule, should there be any. We don’t want to end up with varied interpretations on the actual application of the provisions,” Carlos said.

Under the new restrictions, travelers going to the National Capital Region (NCR) and Bulacan must present their COVID-19 vaccination cards at checkpoints before entering quarantine borders, the PNP said.

The PNP said the local government units of Bulacan and the cities of Metro Manila have instructed police personnel to check for proof of vaccination of inbound travelers.

“Those without vaccination cards will be barred from entering and will be asked to go back,” Carlos said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it would set aside P1 billion for the grant of cash assistance to workers who will be displaced by the implementation of the stricter Alert Level 3.

Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said they were readying funds for the financial aid under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

“In extreme cases that would warrant financial assistance under CAMP, DOLE will be allocating P1 billion for the workers,” she said in a briefing.

The CAMP is a one-time P5,000 financial assistance to affected workers in the private sector.

About 100,000 to 200,000 workers in Metro Manila are expected to be affected by the more stringent Alert Level 3, which is in effect in the region from Jan. 3 to 15.

Tutay added that emergency employment assistance would be provided to affected informal sector workers.

Aside from financial aid, she said livelihood assistance is available to those looking to put up businesses.

She noted that many workers are likely to be affected as the Alert Level 3 was expanded to Metro Manila’s neighboring provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna to control rising COVID-19 infections.

“Alert Level 3 has been expanded to some provinces. It is highly possible that the number of affected workers will increase also,” Tutay said.

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