50 persons held in Cotabato City for violating lockdown

COTABATO CITY ( MindaNews / 13 April) — At least 50 persons were apprehended for violating the lockdown imposed in this city, Mayor Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said Monday.

An irate Sayadi led the apprehension after receiving complaints about the volume of vehicles flooding the city’s streets despite the enhanced community quarantine enforced in the city.

“Many of those apprehended are from surrounding municipalities,” she said, noting the quarantine passes they presented were issued by their local government units.

Sayadi said these quarantine passes “are not honored in Cotabato City.”

Some of the vehicles that were apprehended bear the stickers of different government task forces, the mayor added.

She said the violators entered the city through checkpoints manned by soldiers.

The violators were brought to a police station, reprimanded and were photographed before they were released.

Sayadi said the city government will issue a new quarantine pass to residents that can be used either in the morning or in the afternoon.

Each family will be allowed to designate two members to carry the pass.

Sayadi said they will also require outsiders working in the city to get a working pass from the city government to allow them to enter and exit the locality.

Cotabato City is home to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Many BARMM workers, however, are non-residents of the city.

Cotabato City voted inclusion to the BARMM during the plebiscite last year.

But the city has yet to be turned over to the BARMM.

Several petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic law and the results of the plebiscite.