Malacañang assured the public on May 16, 2020, that it will not turn a blind eye on the supposed violations perpetrated by police officers amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.
The assurance was made after cops purportedly mauled a quarantine violator in Cavite on May 12.
During the Laging Handa program aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace would ask Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa to investigate the reported mauling incident.
“Paimbestigahan po natin iyan. Tatawagan natin mismo si PNP chief Gamboa at titignan po natin kung ano ang nangyari diyan (We will have that investigated. We will call PNP chief Gamboa and ask him to look into it),” Roque said.
Roque was reacting to the CNN Philippines’ report that a 33-year-old factory worker was supposedly beaten black and blue by police officers in General Trias, Cavite on May 12.
Ronald Ocampo, who was arrested for violating quarantine protocols, allegedly sustained bruises and wounds all over his body and a fracture on his skull, the victim’s brother, Rolando, told CNN Philippines.
Roque said involved police officers would be held liable, in case evidence proves that they commit misconduct.
“Alam niyo naman po, sa ating gobyerno, no one is above the law. Kung talagang may lumabag sa batas, meron naman pong imbestigasyon, paglilitis, at pagpaparusa (You know, in our government, no one is above the law. If someone violates the law, he will be investigated and punished),” he said.
Roque ensured that the government would not condone any violations committed by authorities.
He said the justice system in the country is still working.
He made the remarks when pressed further if the recent arrest of Reynaldo Orcullo, a salesman in Nisipit, Agusan del Norte prohibits the public from airing grievances against the government amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Orcullo was arrest for allegedly cursing President Rodrigo Duterte in a social media post.
Roque said the fate of lawbreakers would be up to authorities.
“We leave it to authorities. Pero kapag meron pong maling ginawa ang mga awtoridad, eh kino-correct naman po ng ibang ahensya ng gobyerno gaya ng piskalya (But if authorities commit a violation, other government agencies like courts correct them),” he said. (PNA)