Cops punish stroke survivor over suspected fake Q-pass

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Romeo D. Marantal (The Freeman) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday clarified that the 353 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the city last Tuesday were actually cumulative results over a nine-day period ending June 30, 2020.

A 59-year-old immunocompromised woman was made to walk five to six kilometers by the police as punishment after she was apprehended in Barangay San Nicolas, Cebu City for possession of a suspected fake QR-coded quarantine pass yesterday.

San Nicolas Barangay Captain Clifford Jude Niñal said the woman, who had history of mild stroke, was accosted by Tagalog-speaking policemen along Carlock Street around 7 a.m. yesterday while on her way to buy food for breakfast.   

Niñal said the daughter told him that the police questioned why the quarantine pass of her mother did not have a seal from the barangay.

 “Dili dawaton sa mga pulis kay wala daw tatak sa barangay,” she said.

According to the daughter, she was worried of the health condition of her mother because the police made her walk from Carlock Street to Barangay Basak and back-- about five to six kilometers--under the heat of the sun.

“Akong mama, kap naagi nana (og) mild stroke. Perting inita gipalakaw siya, kung gi-atake pa to simbako, wala jud me nakahibalo,” the daughter told Ninal.

Reporter held captive

Aside from the elderly woman, there were also other incidents of alleged abuses by Tagalog-speaking policemen in the city.

In fact, Banat News reporter Sheriza Mae Uy was also apprehended by the members of Special Action Force (SAF) in Barangay T. Padilla yesterday afternoon. As member of the media, Uy presented his press identification card in lieu of a quarantine pass but the police did not honor it.

 Under the executive order issued by Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, members of the media are exempted from the quarantine pass requirement being among those considered as authorized persons outside residence (APOR). She was later released upon the intercession of a local police official after 10 to 15 minutes in captivity.

In San Nicolas, Ninal said the required counter-seal from the barangay is causing confusion among his constituents. Niñal said he does not understand why the need to have the barangay seal on the QR-coded quarantine passes.

A random survey conducted by The FREEMAN at the quarantine control checkpoints shows that policemen are not equipped with proper guidelines, scanning device and standard procedure to check the validity or authenticity of the passes.

One policeman at a checkpoint did not even know about the odd-even scheme that comes with the pass.  FPL (FREEMAN)

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