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Today in pandemic news: A father and son were arrested for backriding on their way to work

With the threat of warrantless arrests and the lack of proper transportation, it’s been a difficult time for the working class. Added into the pile of incidents is a recent report yesterday, June 18, when a father and son were arrested for backriding while on the way to work.

Pedro and Paulo Munez—both construction workers—were caught sharing a motorcycle ride in Villasis, Pangasinan while on their way to their worksite. According to one account, the two were arrested for violating quarantine rules on physical distancing.

As part of the Department of Transportation’s regulations, motorcycle backriding is banned even for those who live in the same house. Local government officials have appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow family members to share motorcycle rides, especially with limited public transportation.

This was the case for Pedro and Paulo. “Wala kaming masakyan papasok kaya nag-angkas kami. Wala na kaming pambili ng pagkain,” says Pedro, the older Munez.

Citizens, among them Bayan Pangasinan spokesperson Eco Dangla, pointed out the supposed bias with the arrest. “Kapag ordinaryong mamamayan kulong agad pero kapag si Koko Pimentel, Mocha at Debold may ‘compassion’ at nababali ang batas.”

While the police chief of Villasis insisted on the charges, the pair was later released.

Read more:
Luzon lockdown stories that will make you check your privilege
It’s about time we put a stop to the “pasaway” narrative
For us working class, ‘social distancing’ doesn’t cut it

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