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Angry Batangas locals defy, lash out at cops enforcing Taal lockdown

The situation was tense at an Agoncillo, Batangas checkpoint on Monday after several locals were caught entering the town even though the area was locked down over fears of a massive Taal Volcano eruption.

A couple that managed to sneak back into their home within the 14-kilometer danger zone around the volcano said they needed to feed their farm animals, according to a 24 Oras report by Jonathan Andal.

“Ako ba 'pag naglakad diyan, babarilin niyo 'ko? ‘Pag lumampas ako diyan, babarilin niyo ba ako? Mamamatay ba ako dahil sinabi kong gusto kong lumabas diyan?” an irate woman told authorities manning the checkpoint.

“Hindi naman pupuwedeng susunod ka na lang sa lockdown na ‘yon, e. May mga hayop kami. Hindi na ‘to sa kung ano ang batas, tao na lang sa tao sir,” she added.

The woman also vowed that she would continue to defy the lockdown and would return to their home on Tuesday to feed their animals.

The couple was eventually allowed to pass through the checkpoint.

Aside from the couple, a number of other residents disobeyed the lockdown and returned to their homes to rescue their livestock and pets.

Some residents even rented trucks to retrieve their livestock.

“Kesa mamatay, gagawin na naming pera na para may panggastos naman kami,” Crispin Conise said.

Agoncillo Mayor Daniel Reyes earlier reminded his constituents that their lives were more important than any of the possessions they left behind. 

“Sana po ‘wag na silang dumagdag pa sa mga aming iniisip na makukulit pong bumabalik,” Agoncillo Police chief Police Captain Danilo Manalo appealed.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had already ordered a stop to the implementation of window hours to ensure the safety of residents. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News