Curfew violators, beware. When it comes to punishment, you can run but you can’t hide.
Barangay officials are getting more creative in punishing curfew violators.
Charging offenders or detaining them to watch a video on coronavirus safety protocols in the wee hours of morning, which the Commission on Human Rights deems proper, is considered lenient for Sta. Cruz, Laguna officials who put five youths loitering at night inside a dog cage on 20 March to teach them a lesson.
For police in Bacolod City, 728 curfew violators rounded up from 15 to 21 March were detained overnight in a small jail in complete disregard for social distancing protocol.
Meanwhile, a councilor in Barangay 108, Manila makes curfew violators choose their punishment from four options. Two of the four choices, detention and doing community service, seem legit, but the others are controversial.
Perhaps, Councilor Alberto Valenzona is trying to make the penalty appropriate or conform with the background or personality of the violator. So, he offers choices that are within the guidelines of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, since no physical punishment is involved.
Last Thursday, Valenzona caught once more a habitual curfew offender in Tondo’s Zone 9 and made him choose his punishment. While aware that the violator was a drug addict who has been in and out of jail and was the same person whose head he shaved previously for also defying the curfew, Valenzona still let the boy use his immature mind to decide.
The boy did not want to be detained or do community service. He also did not pick the choice of doing a TikTok act, which is dancing while being recorded on a phone camera with the video later being uploaded on the video-sharing app’s website for netizens to watch. Instead, he chose the remaining self-shaming option.
So, whether or not the curfew offender was in his right mind, he ran home naked. Valenzona even took a video of the streaker and uploaded it on his Facebook page.
Valenzona said he did not show the face of the boy in the video because he did not want to violate his right. However, he later took it down after being warned by Facebook that his page would be shut down for violating the social media site’s policy.
Barangay 108 Chairman Rudyrick Simbiling defended Valenzona’s action, saying there was no one on the street at past 1 a.m. when the boy ran without his clothes on. Whether or not the street CCTV cameras in the area that time were on or off was not clear.
With a councilor that imposes streaking as punishment for curfew violators, a barangay leader that allows it when streets are empty, and a repeat offender likely to defy curfew again, it may not be the last act of streaking that can happen in the village. Tondo could spell the end of the UP Diliman fraternity’s monopoly of streaking events.