President Rodrigo Duterte late Wednesday ordered police to arrest barangay captains who allow mass gatherings that could be superspreaders of the coronavirus after scores of people were infected at a recent pool party in the capital.
He also ordered authorities to hit (hampasin) mass gathering violators in the hands or feet should they resist arrest.
"Beginning tonight, ‘pag may isa pa, ang unang hulihin ang barangay captain. I’m ordering the police to arrest the barangay captain and bring him to the station, investigate him for being a derelict, of dereliction of duty having failed to enforce the law," he said in his weekly taped address.
"Much as we would like to reduce the COVID cases, eh kung ganoon ang ginagawa ninyo, walang katapusan na itong p***** i**** ‘to kasi lahat kayo naghahawaan na naman," he said.
Referring to violators of mass gathering prohibitions, Duterte turned to Interior Sec. Eduardo Ano: "Instead of using a hand to put a person under arrest na lumaban, na makipagsuntukan siya, eh ‘di hampasin na lang n'ya. Hampasin n'ya ‘yong paa, not the head... Hampasin mo ‘yong kamay, hampasin mo ‘yong paa ‘pag lumaban because you have to put him
under your authority."
The President again gave assurances to the police: "Huwag kayong matakot. Ako na mismo ang mag-intervene if you are charged tapos ganoon ang nangyari."
At least 51 people in Quezon City got sick with COVID-19 after attending a weekend pool party. Earlier in May another pool party was reported in Caloocan City and photos of the event went viral on social media.