By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco has ordered officials of barangays in his city to resign if they fail to cause the arrest of their constituents violating enhanced community quarantine measures.
“To refuse to cause their arrest and prosecution is tantamount to gross neglect of duty,” Tiangco said in a statement Wednesday.
“Kung ayaw ninyo manghuli o hindi ninyo kaya manghuli, mag-resign na lang kayo kesa mapahamak ang mga residente sa barangay nyo (If you don’t want to or can’t arrest erring residents, better to resign than to cause harm to your barangay).”
In a memorandum dated March 24, Tiangco said, barangay leaders are recognized as “persons in authority,” so they should be responsible for maintaining “public order, and the protection and security of life and property.”
“Quarantine or staying home is the most effective way to fight or prevent the coronavirus disease 2019. This is what health experts are telling us. This is what frontliners all over the world are asking us to do. That’s why we need to implement stringent measures to keep our constituents safe,” he explained.
Following the signing of Executive Order No. TMT-022, which creates Task Force Navotas Drive Against Makukulit, Pasaway o Tambay (NavoDAMPOT), Tiangco has mobilized city and barangay officials to ensure the smooth implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
He has also required barangay captains to send daily reports of people they have brought to the Navotas City Police headquarters.
According to Memorandum Order No. TMT 0158, holders of a Home Quarantine Pass are the only ones allowed to leave their houses between 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., but only to buy food, medicines, and other necessities.
Those who have no necessary business outside their houses will be arrested for violating Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, according to the local government.
As of 6 a.m. of March 25, a total of 269 violators have been rounded up by Navotas police.