'Conducting dialogue': Cops raid San Roque community kitchens, tear protest materials

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
'Conducting dialogue': Cops raid San Roque community kitchens, tear protest materials
Quezon City police officers arrived at the Kusinang Bayan program at Sitio San Roque to tear props and materials calling for government assistance, according to Save San Roque.
Save San Roque

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Police District (QCPD) personnel were deployed Monday morning to Sitio San Roque in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in Quezon City, the police district's public information office confirmed. 

In a press statement sent to reporters, QCPD Director Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo said that protests were in violation of social distancing measures.

The QCPD said in its statements that the purpose of their deployment on Monday was to establish dialogue with members of urban poor group Kadamay over supposed violations of the quarantine.

Mass gatherings are prohibited by virtue of the enhanced community quarantine imposed over mainland Luzon. 

In a series of tweets, urban poor alliance Save San Roque for their part said that over fifteen police operatives raided community kitchens—which QCPD said were set up by Kadamay—for Sitio San Roque residents and tore down protest materials. 

READ: Kadamay unfairly blamed for Sitio San Roque protest, group and supporters say

"After a dialogue with the group of Bagaspas, the QCPD requested them to remove their protest placards which they voluntarily submitted to and reminded them to observe social or physical distancing," the QCPD statement read. 

READ: Duterte warns groups disrupting quarantine

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa has warned the public of "firm and decisive police action" against those found to be involved in "illegal mass actions."

Even the chief executive himself has echoed similar sentiments, going as far as issuing an order to the national police and the armed forces to "shoot dead" violators of the quarantine who put their lives in jeopardy. 

In a separate interview with CNN Philippines, Interior spokesperson Jonathan Malaya accused the group of being a front for communist rebels anew. 

While protesting the lack of food and financial aid from the government, 21 members of the urban poor community were arrested last week after a spontaneous protest was dispersed by the QCPD.

At the time, the rallyists were reportedly calling, "Pagkain kailangan namin wala kami natatanggap mula kay Mayora at Kapitan." (We need food, we don't receive any from the mayor and the captain.)

Athough mass gatherings, including protests, are banned while Luzon is on community quarantine, protesting, expressing dissent, or being a member of an activist group is not the same thing as being a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines or of the New People's Army. 

In an earlier text message to Philstar.com, Kadamay Chairperson Gloria Arellano said in Filipino, "Food, medical and social services, and rights are what we were calling for, 'bigas hindi rehas' (rice not railings)."

"Why is it always us being threatened by Duterte? He should ease the transfer of social services instead."

READ: 20 arrested at protest in Quezon City during quarantine

"The lack of urgent and sustained relief from the national government is forcing the urban poor to go out and look for food or for a source of livelihood," Nanoy Rafael of Save San Roque told Philstar.com in an earlier exchange. 

"That's why meeting them with violence and arrests was not right."

Philstar.com sought comment from the Office of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte but her chief of staff, Weng Macatao, has yet to respond as of this post.

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines. 




As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

A labor group says another lockdown will never resolve rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines after the government announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under the enhanced community quarantine starting Monday.

“The Duterte government seems to be deliberate in focusing its efforts in imposing quarantine and lockdown measures instead of addressing the rising cases of COVID-19 and the worsening state of the pandemic through medical solutions and scientific approach,” says Defend Jobs Philippines.



March 27, 2021 - 7:06pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the implementation of enhanced community quarantine is meant to slow down the increase of COVID-19 cases, so hospitals and health workers will not be overwhelmed.

March 27, 2021 - 6:37pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under enhanced community quarantine starting Monday, March 29.

January 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

Tuguegarao City will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from January 20 to 29 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba approved the request of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano to place the city under ECQ for 10 days.

According to the Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the city currently has 246 active cases.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

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