Should people who refuse to evacuate be arrested? Dela Rosa, Tañada face off
MANILA, Philippines – What should authorities do with individuals who refuse to evacuate in the face of disaster?
A slightly heated exchange ensued between rival senatorial candidates Ronald dela Rosa and Erin Tañada in a forum organized by CNN Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas on Saturday, April 27.
The two were responding to a question on how the country can further reduce risk and improve response to natural disasters.
“Bigyang lakas pa ang kapulisan,” Dela Rosa, running under the ruling PDP-Laban, said. “Dapat ang pulis may power na arestuhin kapag ayaw umalis.”
(Give power to the police. Give them the power to arrest those who do not want to evacuate.)
Otso Diresto candidate Tañada said there should be no arrests, alluding to Dela Rosa’s suggestion.
This triggered a quick face-off between the two. Below is the transcript of the exchange:
Tañada: Hindi dapat umaresto ng mga ayaw umalis (Do not arrest those who do not want to leave).
Dela Rosa: Sasagot ako, kasi ako ang pinapatamaan niya eh. Kung kinakailangan ng pulis na mang-aresto para ma-safe ang buhay nila, gawin natin iyan. (I will answer because I'm being alluded to. If the police need to arrest people to save their lives, let them do that.)
Tañada: Hindi inaaresto, tinatanggal. Ang aresto, iba 'yan. (Not arrests, remove. Arrests, that's different.)
Most of the candidates who answered the questions related to disaster response agreed that existing laws should be properly implemented. Preparedness should also be the number one priority not just at the government level but also withinn the family.
"Preparedness is key and it starts in the level of the family, then community, then company, then country," former interior secretary Raffy Alunan said. "At every level, there should be a proper plan to prepare yourselves against the Big One."
Otso Diresto candidate and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that building stronger laws and proper implementation of the building code can help prevent huge damage during earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Strong earthquakes hit the Philippines last week – leaving at least 16 dead and many injured. – Rappler.com