Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday condemned the shoot-to-kill threat made by the city's Task Force Disiplina head Rannie Ludovica against quarantine violators.
"Ang pahayag po ng pinuno ng Task Force Disiplina ay amin pong kinokondena. Ito po ay mali. It is inappropriate. It is irresponsible at gusto ko lang pong bigyang diin na ito po ay pinost niya sa kaniyang Facebook account na personal," Belmonte said at a press briefing.
"Ito po ay hindi sumasalamin sa mga polisiya, sa mga prinsipyo ng Pamahalaang Lungsod Quezon," she added.
However, Belmonte said she understood Ludovica's sentiments. She had spoken with the official and she learned that Ludovica was frustrated with Quezon City residents who continue to violate quarantine protocols despite continuous reminders from law enforcers.
"Binanggit po ni Mr. Ludovica sa akin na ang kaniyang pahayag ay nagmula sa kaniyang frustration, frustrated po siya dahil limang buwan na po tayong nagpapaalala sa mga tao na magsuot ng mask, huwag lumabas ng tahanan kung di kinakailangan, huwag mag-basketball, huwag magtoma o magtagay, huwag magkaraoke. Pero pagkatapos ng limang buwan ay napagmamasdan pa rin natin ito," Belmonte said.
"Tingin niya 'yan ay naging dahilan kung bakit tumaas ang bilang natin. Naging dahilan din kung bakit napilitan ang ating pamahalaan na ibalik po sa MECQ at para sa kaniya ang pagbalik sa MECQ ay magiging pahirap naman sa ating daily wage earners," she added.
The mayor said Ludovica had admitted that while his sentiments are supposedly valid, the manner by which he expressed them was wrong. Belmonte said Ludovica promised not to commit the same mistake.
"Binawi na po niya ang kaniyang post at nangako po siya na hindi na niya uulitin ang kaniyang ginawa," Belmonte said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace adopts the position of Belmonte, who condemned Ludovica’s statement.
“We can only adopt and thank Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte for her stand on this issue,” Roque said in a televised briefing.
Roque then reiterated the government’s call for citizens to stay home, wear masks, wash hands often, and observe social distancing.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government branded the remark of Ludovica as improper and illegal. DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya advised Ludovica to refrain from issuing such statements.
In a Facebook post, Ludovica explained that his post, which had been deleted, was personal and that he was just dismayed by the transitioning of Metro Manila from a general community quarantine to MECQ.
He also clarified that the city had no shoot to kill order against quarantine violators.
Ludovica said COVID-19 cases continued to increase because of a lack of discipline among the public.
"Patuloy na tumataas ang bilang ng COVID-19 sa lungsod at buong bansa dahil sa kawalan ng disiplina ng karamihan sa ating mga mamamayan at paglabag nila sa batas," he said.
The Philippine National Police said there was no shoot to kill policy against quarantine violators. — with Virgil Lopez/DVM/RSJ, GMA News