Local government officials will face criminal charges should they refuse to abide by the Enhanced Community Quarantine rules, President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday.

Duterte warns of criminal raps vs mayors who defy coronavirus guidelines: ‘Move in unison’

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By Prince Golez

Local government officials will face criminal charges should they refuse to abide by the Enhanced Community Quarantine rules, President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday.

In a pre-taped public address, Duterte urged mayors to heed the guidelines issued by the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases for the implementation of the Luzon-wide quarantine to stop the further spread of coronavirus.

“The only reason why you can impose these quarantine restrictions and impose it on everyone passing through your areas, is because the national government is allowing you to do so. But if you go beyond the standards that we have set, you are abusing your authority, and you know that it can lead to – administrative cases or even worse, unless you stop what you are doing and [cooperate] fully. Criminal cases cannot be far behind,” the President said.

Duterte also directed the Department of the Interior Local Government and the Department of Justice to “closely monitor” the compliance of the local government units and to file the necessary cases against wayward officials.

“Sundin na lang natin tutal para man ito sa lahat. Do not try to overdo things or think that you can do what you want to do because that is not allowed. We, you know, move in one direction, in one unison, precisely to place the contagion in control for the better health of our Filipino, our countrymen,” he added.

The Philippines currently has 217 coronavirus cases, with 17 deaths.

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Eyewitness ka? Robredo told to wait for investigation results on Calabarzon killings

By Prince Golez

Malacañang urged Vice President Leni Robredo to wait for the outcome of the investigation on the deaths of activists in the Southern Tagalog region.

Robredo should submit evidence if she personally witnessed the murder, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“Unang-una, kung personal na nakita ni Vice President ang pangyayari, aba magbigay siya ng ebidensya. Kasi ang pananalita niya parang nakita ng dalawa niyang mata kung ano ang nangyari dun sa mga patayan na yun,” Roque said in a televised briefing Tuesday.

“‘Pag hindi siya nagbigay ng ebidensya, kasalanan din yan, baka siya ay makasuhan. So, kung talagang siya ay eyewitness, sige po, ibigay niya ang ebidensya. Pero kung hindi niya nakita ang pangyayari, gaya ng Presidente at sambayanang Pilipino, mag-antay ng resulta ng imbestigasyon,” he added.

Roque was reacting to Robredo’s description of the recent operations in the Calabarzon provinces as “massacre.” The Vice President likewise urged the public not to fear the “murderous regime” of the Duterte administration.

Roque to ex-envoy to Brazil Mauro: ‘Just quietly vanish into the night’

By Prince Golez

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday advised former Philippine ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro to “just quietly vanish into the night” after the latter claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed her due to “pressure from politicians.”

In a recent interview, Mauro, who was caught on video maltreating her household helper, accused the Department of Foreign Affairs of mishandling the investigation of her case.

“Naku, kung makikita niyo naman po yung tape, nakita natin lahat ang mga pangyayari. So, I think, Ambassador Mauro, the best option is to just quietly vanish into the night,” Roque said in a virtual presser.

“Napakahirap pong sabihin na wala siyang pananagutan dahil meron po tayong physical evidence. Huwag po na nating ungkatin iyan dahil malinaw po ang mga nakita natin sa pamamagitan ng teknolohiya,” he added.

On Mauro’s plan to ask Malacannang to reinvestigate her case, the secretary told reporters: “She can, of course, move for reconsideration or appeal. Pero napakihrap po. Hindi ko alam kung anong reconsideration ang gagawin nya because the decision was rendered by the President himself.”

Palace deplores killing of Samar mayor Ronaldo Aquino: ‘Political violence has no place in democracy’

By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Tuesday condemned the ambush-slay of Calbayog City, Samar Mayor Ronald Aquino.

Aquino and his three bodyguards were killed in an armed encounter Monday afternoon.

“Kinokondena natin yan dahil ang karapatang mabuhay po ay pinakaimportanteng karapatan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in his virtual presser.

Roque said the killing of Aquino may be politically motivated, wth elections nearing.

“Nanunumbalik po kami at naaalarma na dahil isang mayor po ang pinatay baka ito’y simula na naman ng patayan dahil sa politika sa panahon na palapit na ang eleksyon,” according to him.

“Ang demokrasya po, tao po ang humahalal, at ang ating panawagan, hayaan po natin maghalal ang taumbayan sa pamamagitan ng pagpili, ng sa tingin nila, ang pinakaepektibong mamumuno. Atsaka itong political violence has no place in democracy,” he added.

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