Gatchalian favors arrest of residents staying, returning to areas declared “dangerous” amid Taal crisis

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MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said that residents who insist on returning to their homes in areas declared “dangerous”  following Taal volcano’s eruption should be arrested.

However,  Gatchalian clarified that when he speaks of arrest, it only means restricting the movement of “defiant” residents to bar them from going back to their places as it will be risky.

Speaking in  “Kapihan  sa Senado,” Gatchalian said the “arrested” residents should be brought to a barangay center or police station to calm them down.

“I believe in prevention. It’s just right to have a lockdown,” said Gatchalian.

He aired his appeal to those residing within the Taal volcano danger zone to cooperate and heed the lockdown order because this is being done for their own good.

In dealing with defiant residents, Gatchalian said authorities should be persistent that they are prohibited to go there.

“But if they will still insist, they will be arrested because their lives might be endanger” further said Gatchalian.

Asked if local officials would be liable if they abandon defiant residents, Gatchalian said none, but only cited about their conscience.

“Lahat naman may konsensya at di mo naman pwedeng pabayaan na manatili sya dun, the best talaga pigilan,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian said local government officials have the authority to arrest residents who would not accede to their lockdown order in line with public order. (STACY ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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