THE Lapu-Lapu City Council has approved the amendatory ordinance allowing Oponganons to exercise citizen’s arrest if they see individuals not wearing masks in the streets and other public spaces.
When Mayor Junard Chan delivered his State of the City Address on July 2, 2020, he highlighted his plan to have any citizen arrest anyone who is seen not wearing a mask in public in an effort to thwart the spread of the new coronavirus in the city.
Chan then urged city councilors to amend Ordinance 15-084-2020, which penalizes violators of the City’s quarantine protocol. The local legislators eventually obliged.
In an interview, City Councilor Flaviano Hiyas, majority floor leader, said they inserted provisions that will prevent residents from committing abuses in implementing citizen’s arrest.
Hiyas said the amended ordinance allows individuals to take off their masks in public and outside their residences for 15 minutes. This is to allow them to breathe more freely, drink water or eat food.
A concerned citizen can make an arrest after 15 minutes and it must be done within an hour, according to Hiyas.
The violator who is not caught can still be charged with violating the city’s quarantine protocol. The concerned citizen must take a picture or video of the individual not wearing a mask in public and present this as evidence before the prosecutor’s office.
The fine is set at P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000, second offense; and P3,000, third and subsequent offenses.
The ordinance violator who refuses to pay fines will have to serve a time in jail: 10 days for the first-time offender; 15 days, second-time offender; and 30 days, multi-time offender. (GCM, KAL)