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Parañaque enforcers who mauled vendor face raps, may lose jobs
A video taken during the clearing operations in Parañaque City last week showed task force members manhandling a vendor who refused to give his cart.
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Parañaque enforcers who mauled vendor face raps, may lose jobs

(Philstar.com) - January 25, 2021 - 10:19am

MANILA, Philippines — The five city task force members caught on video manhandling a street vendor during a clearing operation has been suspended from service and will soon face administrative raps, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Monday.

In an interview with ANC’s "Headstart", Olivarez said the city government immediately ordered the suspension of the five task force members on video. “We will have a thorough investigation, and when it is proven, as the video has shown, they will be terminated and they will face complaints for abuse of authority,” the city mayor added.

A video taken by ABS-CBN showed the enforcers tackling the vendor to the ground when he tried to stop them for taking his cart away. The video also caught an enforcer kicking the vendor in the face.

Excessive force not allowed

Olivarez stressed that what the enforcers did to the vendor was wrong. He said that the city government guidelines mandates that task force members conducting clearing operations are not allowed to use excessive force.

The city mayor explained that under their guidelines for clearing operations, a notice would first be given and they will be allowed to voluntarily remove what has been deemed as obstructions.

If they will refuse to do so, a notice of violation of city ordinance will be given.

Olivarez stressed that task force members—casual employees of the city government—are ordered to conduct the clearing operations with maximum tolerance.

The city mayor said that they have reminded enforcers that the pandemic is an extraordinary situation that calls for understanding from the government.

He said they have directed task force members, barangay enforcers and police officers that “upon the implementation of your duties, you need to look into the welfare of the people. You cannot use excessive force and abuse of authority.”

Olivarez meanwhile has also called on vendors to follow the rule of law as they enforce road clearing operations. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Ralph Edwin Villanueva

EDWIN OLIVAREZ
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