Shoot-to-kill for violators

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    `Ludovica’s unit first got the notice of the public’s consciousness when its personnel mauled and arrested a young man who looked mentally handicapped, selling fruits and vegetables near ABS-CBN.’

    FOR the award of most aggressive implementor of community quarantine protocols and health safety measures, nobody can hold a candle to
    Ranulfo “Rannie” Ludovica, head of the Quezon City Task Force Disiplina, a former councilor of that city.

    Ludovica touted the policy of shooting and killing violators of community quarantine in QC, in his social media post, as a stern warning or threat against individuals who would breach protocol. He later deleted the post from his Facebook account, but by then, netizens had already swarmed and overwhelmed him with diatribes.

    The QC Task Force Disiplina is a unit of the Quezon City Mayor’s Office and its main mandate from Mayor Joy Belmonte is to enforce the wearing of face masks and face shields, accost pedestrians and sidewalk vendors, and enforce social distancing and all other physical procedures consistent with fighting the spread of the coronavirus.

    Ludovica’s unit first got the notice of the public’s consciousness when its personnel mauled and arrested a young man who looked mentally handicapped, selling fruits and vegetables near ABS-CBN. The man was hailed by the task force personnel to the police station and detained there for several days, purportedly for not wearing a protective face mask.

    Quezon City enforcers were also involved in apprehending GMA News reporter Howie Severino who had to lower his mask to drink water after a round of biking exercise. Severino was accosted by the enforcers and taken to the Amoranto Stadium to attend a seminar on how to properly use the face mask, together with similarly arrested QC residents. The newsman had to write a personal essay and publish it in his news platform to point out the obvious: that herding a big crowd to a seminar like that just increases the chances of coronavirus infections.

    People are beginning to wonder if these incidents are a reflection of official policy from the mayor’s office, but even if they are not, the fact that Ludovica is being given just a tap in the wrist to remind him that what he thinks and does are wrong says a lot about QC protocols.

    The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is quick to clarify that the threat is “illegal and improper” and that punishment for violators should be within the law, meaning within the bounds of local ordinances passed by the city or municipal councils and signed by the mayor.

    Belmonte has “disowned” the controversial threat issued by her subordinate but stressed that it might be an “expression of frustration over the growing number of quarantine violations in QC.”

    We believe Ludovica should be given a memo from the mayor or the DILG, at the very least.

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