No need to resort to violence in implementation of COVID-19 quarantine measures – Robredo

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27)— While Vice President Leni Robredo sees a need for strict implementation of COVID-19 quarantine measures to help curb the spread of the disease, she stressed that enforcers do not have to resort to violence when apprehending violators.

Robredo told CNN Philippines on Monday that there are other forms of enforcement measures which can deliver the same message to citizens.

"Pero kailangan klaro sa understanding ng lahat, bakit ba natin ito ginagawa? Ginagawa natin ito to save lives. Hindi siya kailangang humantong sa violence," Robredo said in an interview with The Source.

[Translation: It needs to clear for their understanding, why are we doing this? We're doing this to save lives. But it doesn't need to result into violence.]

"Tingin natin, kailangan talaga istrikto 'yung enforcement. Pero sana hindi siya humahantong sa karahasan," the Vice President added.

[Translation: We think that the enforcement should really be strict. But it doesn't need to lead to violence.]

Robredo's comments came in light of the recent case of Winston Ragos, the retired military who was fatally shot by a police officer at a Quezon City quarantine checkpoint last week.

Police report said Ragos, who supposedly violated the city's quarantine protocols, allegedly attempted to pull a gun on law enforcers manning the checkpoint. But witnesses at the scene said Ragos did not have a gun inside his bag.

The incident sparked outrage online, more so after the revelation of the ex-soldier’s mother that her son had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after completing his tour of duty.

READ: Slain ex-soldier Ragos laid to rest at Libingan ng mga Bayani

RELATED: Cop faces homicide raps for fatally shooting Army veteran in checkpoint

Hundreds of thousands of quarantine violators have been reported nationwide following the implementation of COVID-19 lockdowns, according to recent police data.

Philippine National Police chief Archie Gamboa also previously said that those found in violation of measures will face "immediate arrest without any warning." Gamboa said violators may be charged under a number of laws, including the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.