MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday, May 4, said former senator Jinggoy Estrada violated enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines when he distributed relief goods in San Juan City.
Año said Estrada, who was arrested by the Philippine National Police on Sunday, May 3, failed to follow several quarantine rules when he went around neighborhoods to give assistance to residents.
First among these was Estrada’s failure to coordinate with and secure certification from the local government of San Juan City before carrying out relief operations.
Aside from this, Año said other violations included failure to practice physical distancing measures during distribution and the presence of senior citizens and minors who ventured outside their homes to receive goods.
Those involved in the distribution of relief goods also had no quarantine passes and were therefore not allowed outside their homes, Año added.
“Naintindihan naman natin nagustuhan ni Senator Jinggoy na makatulong. Dapat ayon ito sa legal na pamamaraan at sa pamantayan ng ECQ guidelines,” Año said in a Laging Handa briefing on Monday.
(We understand Senator Jinggoy wanted to help. This should be done legally and in line with ECQ guidelines.)
Estrada’s daughter, former vice mayor Janella Estrada, earlier said the arrest was politically motivated. Janella had run against incumbent mayor Francis Zamora during the 2019 midterm elections.
Año, however, said relief operations should be coordinated with the local government so officials are aware of where aid is going and which residents may need more assistance.
The DILG chief also suggested that those intending to donate goods coordinate with the Office of Civil Defense, which can help facilitate distribution.
Law enforcement authorities have recorded over 150,000 incidents of people violating lockdown rules nationwide as of April 28. Out of this number, 38,817 have been arrested.
The Philippines has 9,223 cases of the coronavirus, with 607 deaths and 1,214 recoveries as of Sunday. – Rappler.com
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