Quarantine violators paraded

Gilbert Bayoran - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — A city police chief in Negros Occidental is facing investigation for parading quarantine violators.

Maj. Rollie Pondevilla, chief of the Silay City police, said he wanted to remind the residents that the COVID pandemic is very much around and that people should still observe health protocols.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) wanted Pondevilla probed after the city police posted a video on social media on Friday, showing a group of arrested men and women being paraded for not wearing face masks.

After the parade, the violators were made to attend a seminar on health protocols in a covered court, and in front of a coffin.

“I just want to remind them that if they don’t protect themselves from the pandemic, they or their families will end up in a coffin,” Pondevilla said in local dialect.

Instead of filing charges in court, Pondevilla said it’s better for quarantine violators – being first-time offenders – to be subjected to a seminar, wherein they would be refreshed about the threat of the pandemic.

Violators were paraded from the police station to the city gym with their arms raised in front of them to maintain physical distancing as they walked.

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said such a punishment is cruel, inhuman and degrading.

De Guia said Pondevilla’s action is punishable under Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act. 

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