MANILA, Philippines – A barangay captain from Laguna drew criticisms after caging alleged curfew violators.
Barangay captain Eric Ambrocio, in his Facebook account, posted a photo of curfew violators caged in a small, mobile incarceration for dogs in Barangay Gatid, Sta Cruz, Laguna on Friday, March 20.
Ambrocio said the violators
cursed the officials and resisted orders for them to return home. He claimed the officials also discovered that the individuals were intoxicated, prompting them to detain the curfew violators.
“Sa madaling salita po, sila ay tumanggi sa aming pinag-uutos at ang masakit po doon, kami po ay sinabihan ng mga kabataan na ito na ‘Mga g*go kayo, hindi na kami menor!’ at inulit pa po ito nang tanungin namin sila ng, ‘Sinong g*go?’ na sinagot ulit nila ng ‘Kayong mga barangay!’” Ambrocio wrote.
(In simpler terms, they resisted our orders, and what’s painful is we were told by these youth that ‘You’re all idiots, we’re no longer minors!’ and when we asked ‘Who did you call an idiot?’ they responded with ‘You barangay officials!’)
Following the lockdown in Luzon to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, local government units were tasked to implement a curfew and strict quarantine for all households, and suspend public transportation among others. (READ: Confusion in Manila keeps over 20 curfew violators in jail for 2 days)
At the end of his post, Ambrocio commended the barangay officials working with him to enforce the protocols needed to safeguard the health of his constituents. He also apologized and responded to his critics.
“Sa kabila po ng pagod, gutom, puyat para lang maipatupad ang batas para maging maayos at ligtas ang lahat ay makakarinig pa ng mga ganyang salita sa mga taong walang simpatya! Kayo na po ang humusga… Kami po ay humihingi ng paumanhin, pang-unawa at higit sa lahat ay respeto,” Ambrocio stressed.
(Despite the exhaustion, hunger and lack of sleep in order to implement the law to ensure everyone’s safety, criticisms were being thrown at us by people who won’t show sympathy. You be the judge. We apologize and seek for your understanding and respect.)
According to a news report, the incident is being investigated by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police.
The photo drew flak from netizens with comments criticizing the barangay for how they treated its residents.
“Sa mga nagsabi ng tama lang ‘yan, ‘wag sanang mangyari sa mga anak niyo ‘yan. Naging kabataan din kayo, naging matigas ang ulo, pero ang ikulong silang parang hayop aba teka lang kapitan nasobrahan ata runong mo. May tamang proseso po,” netizen Kens Arz Avo said.
(To those who said that that move was right, may it not happen to your children. You were once a minor and hard-headed but to arrest them like animals, that’s too much. There is a right process.)
Some individuals also expressed support for the barangay captain.
“It’s okay to arrest them so they can learn their lesson but not in that way. People will judge that the barangay captain is inhumane. People nowadays are judgmental. But sorry not sorry he’s doing his job! Kudos to you kap!” netizen Daisy RA said in the comments. – Rappler.com
Mark Ernest Famatigan is mover from Laguna and a Human Ecology student of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He is also an associate editor of the UPLB Perspective.