The country’s Commission on Human Rights is planning to investigate an incident where quarantine violators were allegedly made to walk like zombies in Silay, Negros Occidental.
However, Silay police chief Major Rollie Pondevilla said today that he had no intention of embarrassing the 39 violators, who were caught in public without facemasks and face shields. The wearing of facemasks and face shields have been made mandatory in the Philippines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Here in our police station, our space is limited. If we didn’t ask them to do that, the area will be very cramped. They’ll stand close to each other [inside the station]. They’re violators; we couldn’t stop them,” the cop said in English and Filipino to CNN Philippines.
“What we did was, as a preventive measure, not really as a punishment, we asked them to lift their hands forward [while walking] so that we can maintain their physical distancing,” Pondevilla added.
A video of the men was broadcast by several media over the weekend. In the clip, the residents were seen walking on a road with their hands raised, like zombies. Senator Franklin Drilon said the punishment was “unnecessary.”
The incident spurred the Commission on Human Rights to tell Silay cops they need to “adhere to human rights-based policing, including respect for every person’s dignity.”
“Parading alleged quarantine violators on the streets may amount to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment penalized by Republic Act No. 9745 (Anti-Torture Act) and barred by Convention Against Torture signed by the Philippines,” it added.
This article, Walking Dead? Quarantine violators allegedly made to walk like zombies in Negros Occidental, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.