Saturday 15 August 2020
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rappler - 1 month ago

Howie Severino detained for lowering face mask to drink water

MANILA, Philippines – Renowned journalist Howie Severino was detained by Quezon City law enforcers for lowering his face mask to drink water on Wednesday, July 8. In a Facebook post, Severino recounted that he biked with two companions until they took a break at a bike shop along Mother Ignacia Avenue. We were all wearing masks. We bought drinks at the store next door, and drank them after pulling down our masks below the mouth (because we have not learned to drink yet with masks on), he said in his post. He added: I had just finished my drink and returned the bottle to the store before I could pull my mask back up, when at least 3 vehicles of QC law enforcers arrived to tell me I was talking without my mask covering my mouth. He was then brought to the Amoranto Stadium for a seminar on the coronavirus before he was allowed to go home. It is unclear whether he was detained by policemen, barangay officials, or both. (READ: QC officials maul, drag fish vendor for not wearing face mask) Too much? Since early April, Quezon City has mandated everyone in its territory to wear face masks when they go outside to prevent the spread of the virus. Severino described the enforcement, however, as a bit draconian. He also noted that there were hundreds of people rounded up in the stadium, risking the possibility of violating expert advice of preventing mass gatherings. Severino has been been infected with the virus and has already recovered, and added that the efforts for contact tracing might need more attention compared to enforcing the requirement to wear masks. He said the Quezon City local government failed to interview him about his contacts. (READ: Mass shortage: Philippines still lacks 83,000 contact tracers) I did contact tracing on my own, he said. –

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