Former Vice President Jejomar Binay has urged authorities to exercise “leniency and compassion” in their sidewalk clearing operations after a video showing local enforcers mauling a sidewalk vendor went viral.
Binay, who is also a founding member and adviser of Artikulo Tres, a human rights lawyers’ group, offered legal help to the vendor.
“Should the vendor in the video decide to take legal action, we would be ready to help him,” Binay said in a statement Sunday.
The viral video showed local enforcers tackling a sidewalk vendor to the ground and putting handcuffs on him during a sidewalk clearing operation. One enforcer was shown kicking the vendor on the face.
The Parañaque city government had announced it had suspended the erring personnel.
Binay welcomed the local government’s action, saying it should also serve as a reminder that the duty of government is to help the poor survive the pandemic.
“I am glad that the local authorities have taken immediate action against their personnel. We should do everything to restore the dignity of the poor,” he said.
“Yung vendor, nagtatrabaho ng marangal kahit may pandemya at malaki ang posibilidad na sya ay magka-COVID. The least government enforcers can do is ask him to move and not confiscate his wares. The times call for leniency and compassion,” he added.
The former vice president said incidents like this “only reinforce the notion of a double standard in enforcing the law.”
“The poor are dealt with an iron fist while a privileged few violate the law and get away with it,” he said.