Robredo to police: Be strict but don’t use violence vs lockdown violators

Mara Cepeda
Robredo to police: Be strict but don’t use violence vs lockdown violators
'Kailangan talaga istrikto iyong enforcement. Pero sana hindi siya humahantong sa karahasan,' says Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo urged the police not to resort to violence when implementing the rules of the lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Robredo told CNN Philippines on Monday, April 27, that cops need to be “strict” yet “compassionate” in going after lockdown violators. 

“Mayroon rin talagang matitigas iyong mga ulo, at tingin natin kailangan talaga istrikto iyong enforcement. Pero sana hindi siya humahantong sa karahasan,” the Vice President said. 

(There really are hard-headed people and I think there’s a need for enforcement to be strict. But I hope there would be no need to resort to violence.)

Robredo noted that there have been cases when the arrest of a violator led to more harm than good. She said some Filipinos, like those taking care of the sick who are in need of medicines or immediate treatment, have no choice but to break quarantine rules.

“Iyong pag-aaresto kasi minsan, parang iyong effect nito mas grabe pa sa sinusubukan nating i-prevent. Halimbawa, may inaresto na maraming abala sa kanya kasi lumabas siya para maghanap ng gamot para sa kanyang maysakit na family member. Dapat mas maging compassionate, dapat may flexibility iyong lahat,” Robredo said.

(The effect of apprehension sometimes is so much worse than the scenario we’re trying to prevent. For example, there’s a person arrested for going outside to buy medicine for his or her sick family member. They should be more compassionate, all should have flexibility.)

The Philippine National Police has been drawing flak for the killing of retired corporal Winston Ragos, a former military man who was shot dead by Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr for supposedly breaking quarantine rules in Quezon City. 

Ragos was given a hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on Sunday, April 26, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines rendering full military honors.

Also on Sunday, Javier Salvador Parra, a resident of the posh Dasmariñas Village in Makati City, was assaulted by a cop after engaging in a heated confrontation over a house helper’s failure to wear a face mask while watering her boss’ plants.  

The Makati Police said their officer intended to arrest Parra because the latter went “berserk” and cursed at the cops. Parra said he plans to sue the police. 

Makati Mayor Abby Binay ordered a probe into the incident and said appropriate charges will be filed against those found accountable. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.