CLO warns Probe over vendor’s arrest

FOUR members of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) received a stern warning from the Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) after the apprehension of a vendor provoked the ire of netizens.

Roy Manigos, a fruit vendor, was apprehended on Nov. 21, 2019 by Probe personnel who were implementing President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to remove all obstructions from public roads.

Manigos’ apprehension was caught on cam and went viral on social media, upsetting a lot of netizens.

Probe chief Raquel Arce already apologized for the encounter.

An investigation conducted by the CLO revealed that Manigos had been apprehended at least five times for allegedly not heeding warnings to keep his business out of the mall he frequents in Barangay Mabolo.

Probe had reportedly kept on warning Manigos not to sell in front of the mall, but this only resulted in a game of cat-and-mouse between the two parties.

It was also discovered that Manigos did not file a formal complaint.

City Attorney Rey Gealon cited this as a factor as to why the available casual information had been limited.

“After a thorough evaluation, as shown in the video, it is deplorable. There appears a mishandling of apprehended illegal vendor. The act shows that the personnel may have crossed the line between legitimate apprehension to that of coercion, bullying or harassment,” he said.

Gealon said the personnel involved will have to undergo a comprehensive briefing on guidelines of apprehension against violators.

“As action officers in government, they are directed to act with professionalism, intelligence, excellence and skill pursuant to Section 4(b) of Republic Act 6713, or “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.” (JCT)