MANILA, Philippines – Yet another report about patrollers confronting a man walking the streets without a face mask is drawing people’s attention online – but for a good reason.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has made wearing face masks mandatory in public places. In Mandaluyong City, getting caught without a face mask would mean a fine of P5,000, or a week’s imprisonment, or both.
When a group of Philippine Army reservists came across a man without a face mask walking along F. Martinez Street in Barangay Addition Hills, one of them got off their van and approached the pedestrian.
The reservist reprimanded the man and warned him that face masks are now a must when stepping outside the house.
Then, in a gesture of leniency, the reservist took a face mask from a stash they had on hand, gave it to the pedestrian, and sent him on his way.
This incident was reported by the Mandaluyong City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office on its official Facebook page on Tuesday night, April 28, saying it happened “recently.”
The Facebook post, which includes photos of the encounter, has been shared more than 7,600 times and drawn 12,000 positive reactions as of this posting. Many of the 1,600 comments on the page were from people saying this was a better way of handling violations than other recently reported incidents.
Those reports involved brutality by police or local government authorities when apprehending alleged violators of enhanced community quarantine rules, particularly on face masks.
Mandaluyong City is one of the local governments in Metro Manila that had requested the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for a contingent to help enforce lockdown rules, AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said on April 21.
The Army troops assigned to Mandaluyong are from the 1305th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion, 1505th Ready Reserve Brigade, 1305th Community Defense Center, National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group, Army Reserve Command.
On Sunday, April 26, a confrontation between policemen and Spanish citizen Javier Salvador Parra in Dasmariñas Village, Makati City, led to a policeman tackling Parra in an attempt to arrest him.
The tussle started when police on patrol saw a member of Parra’s household staff watering plants outside his house without wearing a face mask. It was, however, still private property.
At past noon on Monday, April 27, patrollers from the office of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte mauled and manhandled fish vendor Michael Rubuia when they caught him along Panay Avenue without a mask or a quarantine pass.
Investigations are underway for both incidents. – Rappler.com