- An owner of a water refilling station in Arayat, Pampanga was mauled by the chief of barangay tanods
- In an interview over 24 Oras, Jeffrey Mercado, the owner of the water refilling station said he went to the barangay after his personnel were repeatedly barred from entering the place
- Upon arriving, Mercado claimed the chief of the barangay tanods who manned the checkpoint asked for identification and negative RT-PCR test
- He was also allegedly told that he cannot enter as mineral water is not essential, after which an argument ensued that culminated in his mauling
First it was lugaw and now, it seems to include water, that is if the claims of water refilling station owner, Jeffrey Mercado, are proven true and accurate.
In an interview over 24 Oras, Mercado said he was mauled by the chief of barangay tanods manning the checkpoint at Barangay Plazang Luma, Arayat, Pampanga, following an argument over his mineral water delivery.
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According to the refilling station owner, he went there to make the delivery himself after his personnel were denied entry by the barangay tanods.
Upon arriving at the checkpoint, the chief of barangay tanods allegedly asked for his identification, barangay clearance, and RT-PCR negative test result.
When asked what he is supposed to deliver, Mercado answered it’s mineral water. The barangay tanod chief allegedly told him that mineral water is not essential.
An argument ensued, which culminated in the mauling of Mercado by the barangay tanod chief and his brother.
Sonny Mariano, the barangay tanod chief, admitted he hit the water refilling owner first, though he said it was because Mercado did not respect his position of authority.
He also denied allegations that he said mineral water brought by Mercado is not essential.
The Barangay Captain of Barangay Lumang Plaza, Maria Martinez, defended the actions of his barangay tanod and also denied allegations that the tanod said mineral water is not essential.
Martinez has summoned Mercado so he and Mariano can talk but she said that the water refilling station owner did not arrive.
In recent days, social media was filled with negative reports about barangay officials and personnel arresting or harming individuals for allegedly attempting to enter their barangays or violating curfew hours. While in many cases, the acts of these barangay tanods and officials were appropriate and based on guidelines, there were some that many netizens saw as out of the ordinary and quickly became subject of online bashing. An example of this is the student in Quezon City who was arrested by barangay tanods even if he was just outside his house to get the food items delivered by a rider.
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In the case of essential items, the first to go viral is lugaw. A delivery rider was denied entry in a barangay because the lugaw that he is supposed to deliver is not essential. Even Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque weighed in on the matter and said that “lugaw” is classified as an essential good. He made the clarification after Malacañang officials learned about the viral video where a barangay official barred from entering their locale a delivery food rider who is supposed to bring the food to his customer. Spox Roque also said that even with an enhanced community quarantine, food delivery should be allowed 24/7 and should not be stopped at checkpoints.
Despite the clarifications made by Malacañang, celebrities still took to social media to react to the viral video about lugaw. The viral video shows a male Grab rider being apprehended for delivering the said food. He can be heard discussing with a woman who insisted that lugaw is a non-essential good. Prominent personalities like comedienne Pokwang then slammed the woman’s remark.
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