Gamboa to men: Law applies to rich, poor

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, yesterday called on his men to see to it that they will be fairly implementing the law and see to it that rich or poor alike will be getting the same treatment as they continue to enforce quarantine protocols to help fight the further spread of COVID-19 virus in the country.

In an interview with ANC, the top cop urged members of the PNP who are manning Quarantine Control Points in the country to ‘balance’ the implementation of the law amid complaints that it is mostly the poor who are being arrested for violating quarantine protocols.

He issued the remark in the wake of the controversy generated by the arrest of one ‘Mang Dodong,’ described as a fisherman from Caloocan City who was detained for nearly two weeks after being arrested for not having a quarantine pass in Navotas.

The man claimed he went to Navotas to fish in order to earn some money to feed his family during the lockdown period. "I will find the details of Mang Dodong and we will issue a directive to balance--we don’t really know the circumstances sa baba--we will encourage our policemen to balance between those who have less in life, sabi nga nila, must have more in law," Gen. Gamboa said.

However, officials complained that government critics are only playing up the arrest of ‘poor Filipinos’ for violating quarantine rules and won’t mention the fact that police have also arrested ‘rich, educated and influential people’ for the same offense.

They cited the case of lawyer Ramon Jose Guerrero, a 53-year-old resident of the posh Ayala Alabang Subdivision in Muntinlupa City who was arrested and charged for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority late night Saturday.