Makabayan bloc condemns arrest of QC residents protesting alleged lack of food relief

Aileen Cerrudo

The Makabayan Bloc has condemned the arrest of several residents of Sitio San Roque, Quezon City who staged a protest on Wednesday afternoon (April 1) for not receiving food relief from the government.

In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat said it is the government’s responsibility to provide aid to the poor residents especially those whose jobs were heavily affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

She also called on the Quezon City government to take action and appealed for the 20 arrested residents’ release.

“Nananawagan ako sa mga pulis at kay Mayor Belmonte na pumagitna na sa usaping ito, bigyan ng kinakailangang ayuda ang mga tao ng Sitio San Roque, at pakawalan agad ang lahat ng kanilang hinuli, (We are calling on the police and Mayor Joy Belmonte to mediate in this issue and provide the needed aid for the residents of Sitio San Roque, and release those they have arrested),” she said. 

Gabriela Women’s Party also condemned the said arrests and said that state forces are pushing poor families into a more difficult situation for continuing the mass arrests.

The partylist also said there was no need for an arrest since the residents were only asking for food from the government amid the month-long lockdown.

“Using excessive force and detention will not quell the empty stomachs of Filipinos who up to this day remains denied of the promised P200-billion cash aid for the poor,” their statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned anew against public assembly especially during the time of a national health emergency.

PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac reminded residents to just remain in their homes to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Government remains responsive to their concerns, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has assured that the needy will benefit most of the P200 billion social amelioration program rolled out by the government,” he said.-AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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