After a video showing local enforcers mauling a sidewalk vendor as he was being pinned to the ground went viral on social media, former vice president Jejomar Binay urged  authorities to show “leniency and compassion” in their sidewalk clearing operations in this time of pandemic.

(Screencap from Youtube)

In the video, local traffic enforcers were seen tackling a sidewalk vendor to the ground and putting handcuffs on him during a sidewalk clearing operation. One of them even kicked the vendor in the face.

Binay, a founding member and adviser of Artikulo Tres, a human rights lawyers’ group, offered legal assistance to the vendor.

“Should the vendor in the video decide to take legal action, we would be ready to help him,” the former vice president said in a statement Sunday, January 24.

Binay welcomed the suspension of the erring personnel by the ParaƱaque city government. This, he said, should 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 expressed.

Binay stressed that the vendor was trying to earn money honestly and “the least government enforcers can do is ask him to move and not confiscate his wares—the times call for leniency and compassion.”

Similar incidents like this, he said, 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,” Binay, who once served as chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (