Coronavirus lockdown in Philippines lands official in trouble after violators placed in dog cage

Coronavirus lockdown in Philippines lands official in trouble after violators placed in dog cage

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Tens of millions in the Philippines were placed on lockdown in order to combat coronavirus, but one local official is now facing charges after putting curfew violators in a dog cage this month.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his outbursts and shocking comments, has restricted the main northern island of Luzon, home to more than 50 million people and the capital of Manila.

Besides travel restrictions, most residents have been ordered to stay home, while most businesses and schools have been suspended as part of a monthlong containment strategy.

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In the city of Santa Cruz, about 55 miles south of Manila, an official is now facing multiple charges after several people were pictured earlier this month in a dog cage after violating curfews.

Frederick Ambrocio, the chairman of Barangay Gatid, a local administrative division in charge of enforcing the curfew, was charged Saturday with violating the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Acts, in addition to grave threat and coercion, Philippine news site PhilStar reported.

An official in Santa Cruz, the Philippines, is facing several charges after five curfew violators — including two minors — were put in a dog cage. (Eric Panisan Ambrocio via Storyful)

Ambrocio posted a photo of the group that broke curfew on his Facebook page Friday, claiming the group was drunk and had to go home.

According to PhilStar, Ambrocio threatened to shoot them, including two minors, if they refused to get into the cage.

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The official had previously shared a photo of the cage on March 15 with the caption that read, “Lock&Load.”

Human Rights Watch said Thursday that Philippine authorities should “respect basic rights of people” detained for violating the curfew, after other images of people placed in dog cages and forced to sit in the midday sun emerged.

Temperatures are checked before people enter a local city hall during a community quarantine aimed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday. 

Temperatures are checked before people enter a local city hall during a community quarantine aimed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

“Police and local officials should respect the rights of those they arrest for violating curfew and other public health regulations, which can be done while still allowing the Philippines government to take appropriate measures to combat COVID-19,” Phil Robertson, HRW’s deputy Asia director, said in a statement.  “Any mistreatment should be immediately investigated, and the authorities responsible held accountable.”

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As of Thursday morning, the Phillipines had 707 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 45 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The Philippine Congress on Tuesday approved a bill declaring a national emergency and authorizing Duterte to launch a massive aid program for 18 million families and tap private hospitals and ships in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

The state of national emergency will last for three months but can be extended by Congress.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Source : Travis Fedschun Link

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