The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) renewed its directive for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to protect doctors, nurses and other medical staff following the shooting of an ambulance driver in Candelaria, Quezon.
"The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) strongly condemns the harassment and violence committed against another health frontliner in a subdivision in Candelaria, Quezon," the DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement on Saturday.
"Following this unfortunate incident, I have ordered the PNP anew to ensure the safety of our frontliners, from the doctors, nurses and hospital staff including ambulance drivers, who are risking their lives in the fulfillment of their duty as health professionals," Año added.
The DILG also renewed its instruction for the PNP to constantly monitor hospitals and clinics and to increase police visibility in all communities to guarantee the safety and well-being of health frontliners, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Sa panahon ng krisis dahil sa COVID-19, mahalaga ang serbisyo ng mga health frontliners para pangalagaan ang mga maysakit kaya dapat na siguruhin ng kapulisan ang kaligtasan nila habang tinutupad nila ang kanilang tungkulin," Año said.
The DILG Secretary also directed local governments, especially barangays to disseminate correct information on COVID-19 for the public to avoid confusion and fear that might possibly lead to violence.
"Sa ating mga kababayan, maging mahinahon po sana tayo at kalmado. Ang tanging maitutulong po natin ngayon ay manatili sa ating mga tahanan, sumunod sa mga patakaran ng gobyerno tungkol sa physical distancing at enhanced community quarantine, at manalangin sa Poong Maykapal," he said.
Sofronio Agno Ramilo, a 51-year-old ambulance driver of the Peter Paul Medical Center of Candelaria, Inc. (PPMCCI), had a heated argument with suspect Ramil Galeon Alcantara over the hospital ambulance that he parked inside the subdivision where they both resided.
Alcantara insisted that the ambulance should not be allowed to enter the subdivision as he alleged it was used to transport COVID-19 positive patients.
Police reports indicated that Alcantara fired on the ground, causing the bullet to ricochet and hit Ramilo's hand.
The victim was taken to hospital while the suspect was arrested and was facing charges. — DVM, GMA News