51 QC cops deployed during SONA test positive for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   July 28, 2021   •   126

 

Fifty-one of the 82 new COVID-19 positive cops of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) were deployed to the security team during the sixth state of the nation address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (July 26).

According to QCPD Director Police BGen. Antonio Yarra, the concerned cops were among the 161 cops of the Station 3 Talipapa Station who had their RT-PCR Test on July 23, in which results were released only on Tuesday (July 27).

The 51 cops were assigned at the SONA’s route security along the Commonwealth Avenue and Civil Disturbance Management Team at the U.P. Techno Hub on Monday.

“Ninety percent of our personnel were already fully vaccinated and we ensured for deployment during SONA,” Yarra argued.

“They are 100 percent healthy and they are not showing any symptoms for the COVID virus and most of them are fully vaccinated,” he added.

At present, the COVID-positive cops were all quarantined at the HOPE facility in Quezon City.

The QCPD, however, still has no report if the cops were infected with the more infectious Delta variant.

The QCPD chief also confirmed that they are currently conducting intensified contact tracing efforts to trace those who had close contact with the COVID-positive cops.

“Yung contact tracing hindi naman nagmamadali. Ang importante diyan accurate ang magiging result. So wala naman tayong sinet na timeline. Ang importante yung contact tracing at makakuha tayo ng courses of action to contain the spread of COVID in PS3 contact tracing hindi minamadali, accurate,” Yarra said.

Meanwhile, the infected cops will temporarily be replaced so that operations at the Talipapa Station 3 will not be hampered.

Yarra asked the public to refrain from going to QCPD Station 3 while disinfection is being done within its premises. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP probes slay of QC salon owner

Robie de Guzman   •   August 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday said he has ordered a thorough investigation into the killing of a business owner in Quezon City.

In a statement, Eleazar said he has tasked the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) to delve into the case and determine the true motive in the fatal shooting of salon owner and former journalist Gwen Salamida.

“Lahat ng anggulo ay ating titingnan upang malaman ang tunay na motibo sa krimen at madakip ang salarin,” he said.

Salamida was shot dead by a gunman inside her beauty salon in Quezon City. Her companion was also shot and is in critical condition.

Police investigators are initially eyeing robbery as the motive behind the killing, the PNP said.

Eleazar has expressed sympathy to the family of the victim and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I am also directing all police offices and units to sustain anti-criminality operations and to be on alert for criminals who would take advantage of the pandemic,” he said.

“We need to ensure that the public is not only safe from coronavirus infection but also safe from lawless elements,” he added.

QCPD Station 3 commander relieved over SONA deployment of COVID-positive cops

Marje Pelayo   •   July 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police Chief General Guillermo Eleazar relieved  Lt. Col. Christine Tabdi from his post as Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 3 commander.

This, after the controversial deployment of police personnel to the sixth state of the nation address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte pending the results of their RT-PCR tests which later yielded COVID-positive results.

“Inutos ko na ang administrative relief ng station commander ng QCPD station o Talipapa Police Station dahil sa command responsibility,” Eleazar said.

“Iniimbestigahan na natin ang maaaring paglabag sa ipinatutupad naming protocol sa mga PNP personnel habang naghihintay ng resulta ng RT/PCR test,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mayor Joy Belmonte said all cops responsible for the said deployment of infected police will face charges for violating the standard health protocols.

“That is punishable under RA 11332, and however the city government we do not have the disciplinary jurisdiction over the Quezon City Police District, that’s why I believe the Chief PNP Guillermo Eleazar should address being their superior.”

Tabdi earlier explained that none of those cops who tested positive had no contact with other individuals since they were assigned in route security.

However, QCPD Director PBgen. Antonio Yarra confirmed that apart from route security, the said cops were also deployed to the UP Techno Hub on Monday as among the Civil Disturbance Management Team.

“Iyong meron lang engagement doon yung assigned in front of the Techno Hub. Iyong ating mga civil disturbance management personnel na assign dyan, gaya ng sinabi ko 41 of the Station 3,” Yarra said.

Meanwhile, Belmonte explained why the results of the tests were delayed for days.

“The molecular laboratory of the Quezon City can only handle a thousand sample a day so yung mabilis overnight nagagawa namin yan pero since we get four thousand a day already, the rest we have to submit to the Philippine Red Cross and that takes a while,” she said.

Currently, the PNP is focused on the contact tracing and swab testing of those who had close contact with the 51 COVID-positive cops. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Deployment of SONA cops pending COVID-19 test result a breach of protocol – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The deployment of cops still awaiting results of their COVID-19 test during President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) was a breach of protocol, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

“We will say that there was this breach because we have guidelines for that at alam po natin that they should not have been deployed kung hindi pa po natin alam ang resulta,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Wednesday reported that 82 of its personnel have contracted COVID-19, 51 of whom were part of the security contingent deployed during the SONA on July 26.

Vergeire stressed that if testing was done for screening purposes, they should have been quarantined first before their deployment.

The DOH is also not dismissing the possibility that the cops who caught COVID-19 could be super spreaders.

Vergeire called on those who may have had contact with the cops, particularly the protesters last Monday, to get in tough with local authorities.

The DOH is also closely monitoring with the Quezon City government for the conduct of active contact tracing.

“Hindi po natin dapat pinagpapabukas ang contact tracing dahil isang araw lang po na hindi natin mahanap iyong taong nakasalamuha o nakapag-interact sa isang positibong kaso, maaari na po nating maikalat ang impeksyon,” Vergeire said.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday morning announced he has ordered the relief of QCPD Station 3 commander, Police Lt. Col. Christine Tabdi over the incident. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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