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Robredo appeals for maximum tolerance on ECQ
Robredo made the statement in reaction to a recent order by President Duterte to the police to shoot “troublemakers” during the Luzon lockdown when the authorities’ lives are in danger.
OVP/File

Robredo appeals for maximum tolerance on ECQ

Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday appealed to law enforcers for maximum tolerance as they strictly implement the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.

Robredo made the statement in reaction to a recent order by President Duterte to the police to shoot “troublemakers” during the Luzon lockdown when the authorities’ lives are in danger.

“We need to put into perspective why we need the checkpoints. The very essence of this is to save lives and not to further spread the virus. For me, the order to kill the violators is a wrong message,” the Vice President said in her weekly program over radio station dzXL.

“It’s crucial for our law enforcers to observe maximum tolerance, they also need to understand why there are people who insist to go out. It’s OK to have strict enforcement, but they must also treat the people humanely,” Robredo, a former human rights lawyer, added.

Duterte on Friday night denied giving law enforcers a “shoot-to-kill” order against people flouting the enhanced community quarantine regulations.

“I never said in public ‘shoot-to-kill.’ Period,” he said in a televised address.

The President added that police officers and soldiers would only resort to strict measures if their lives are threatened.

“If you resist, if you put the lives of police officers in danger, (to police) shoot them, kill them. That’s the law,” he said.

‘Let LGUs handle fund’

Robredo yesterday also urged the Duterte administration to let the local government units (LGUs) handle the social amelioration fund to ensure the immediate distribution of cash assistance to the sectors most affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

“Centralizing” the distribution of the financial aid will only delay the arrival of the much-needed assistance to the intended beneficiaries, according to the Vice President.

“I doubt if (the Department of Social Welfare and Development) can do it immediately, it’s too centralized,” she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel yesterday morning.

“If we give the DSWD all the responsibility, it might delay the assistance. Let’s entrust the (distribution of funds) to the LGUs, because the more you delay it, the more the people become restless,” she added.

Robredo expressed belief that local executives can fast-track the distribution of the cash grant as “they are the ones working on the ground” and “they know the landscape.”

President Duterte has opted to centralize the distribution of dole-outs and relief goods in the DSWD to ensure it is politics- and corruption-free.

Robredo said there are ways to ensure full transparency on the use of the funds.

“If they are afraid of corruption, how (the aid) would reach our people, (the national government) should enhance transparency and trust the LGUs. The most vital now is that the people who are in need will have food on their table every day,” she said.

Under Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, over 18 million Filipino family beneficiaries will receive such assistance for two months. Emergency subsidy for Filipinos range from P5,000 to P8,000, depending on the minimum regional wage rates.

The aid will be in the form of cash and kind, according to the DSWD. – With Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla, Alexis Romero, Mayen Jaymalin

LENI ROBREDO
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