Mga pulis, bantay-sarado ang ilang pamilihan sa Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   April 14, 2020   •   932

MANILA, Philippines – Mahigpit nang binabantayan ng mga pulis ang ilang malalaking pamilihan sa Metro Manila upang matiyak na naipatutupad ng maayos ang panuntunan sa physical distancing at pagbabawal sa pagkukumpulan ng mga tao sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

Sa Kalentong Public Market sa Mandaluyong, umabot hanggang kabilang kanto ang pila ng mga taong nais mamalengke ngayong Martes dahil siniguro ng mga otoridad na may isang metrong distansya ang bawat tao.

Kinukuhanan rin sila ng body temperature upang masiguro na walang lagnat o anumang sintomas ng coronavirus disease ang mga papasok sa palengke.

Inoobliga rin ang mga mamamalengke na magsuot ng facial mask at dapat may dala silang quarantine pass.

Bago pumasok sa pamilihan, nilalagyan muna ng alcohol o disinfectant ang mga kamay ng mga tao.

Sa Balintawak Market naman sa Quezon City, nilagyan na ng mga sakong puno ng mga bato ang gilid ng kalsada upang mapigilan ang pagparada ng mga sasakyan.

Una nang iniutos ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Quezon City ang pagpapatigil sa pagbebenta ng tingi sa Balintawak dahil sa patuloy na pagdagsa ng mga mamimili sa kabila ng umiiral na enhanced community quarantine sa Luzon.

Sa palengke ng Muñoz at QMart sa Quezon City, hinigpitan rin ang seguridad, maging ang paglabas-masok ng mga tao. Pinaigting rin ang police visibility roon at bantay-sarado rin ang mga itinalagang entrance at exit sa mga palengke.

Sa Blumentritt naman sa Maynila, magpapatupad na rin ang lokal na pamahalan ng ilang polisiya upang mabawasan ang pagkukumpulan ng mga tao.

Batay sa anunsiyo ng Manila Public Information Office, tatlo lamang ang entrance at exit ng Blumentritt Markets: sa Blumentritt corner Rizal Avenue, sa Leonor Rivera corner Antipolo at sa Blumentritt corner Aurora Blvd.

Simula sa Miyerkules, April 15, ang mga nakatira sa lungsod ng Maynila ay maaari lamang mamili sa Blumentritt Markets mula ala-singko ng umaga hanggang alas-dose ng tanghali.

Ang mga hindi residente ng Maynila ay papayagan lang mamili roon mula alas-dose ng tanghali hanggang alas-kuwatro ng hapon, habang mga mga wholesalers naman ay papayagan lang pumasok doon mula alas-kuwatro ng hapon hanggang ala-siyete ng gabi.

Una nang ipinag-utos ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ang pagpapakalat ng mas maraming pulis sa mga palengke kasunod ng mga ulat na marami ang hindi sumusunod sa panuntunan ng physical distancing at pagbabawal sa mass gathering o pagkukumpulan ng maraming tao.

Babala naman ng Philippine National Police, maaari nilang arestuhin ang sinumang susuway sa guidelines na ipinatutupad ng pamahalaan upang malabanan ang pagkalat ng sakit na COVID-19.

Muli ring nanawagan ang mga otoridad sa publiko na makiisa sa paglaban sa krisis na ito, at hangga’t maaari ay manatili na lamang sa kanilang mga tahanan kung wala namang mahalagang gagawin sa labas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Sinas says PNP won’t interfere with ‘private sector initiatives’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas has assured the public that police will not interfere with any ‘voluntary private sector initiative’ that seek to provide for the basic needs of people severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sinas did not explicitly mention community pantries in various parts of the country but he said the PNP “fully supports such expression of Bayanihan culture and Filipino spirit of compassion.”

“Hindi makikialam ang PNP sa aktibidad ng mga pribadong grupo na mamahagi ng ayuda sa mga tao,” he said in a statement.

“[W]e will continue to extend utmost assistance to ensure smooth and orderly operations of private sector outreach activities with greater emphasis on the health and safety of both benefactors and beneficiaries of these public endeavors,” he added.

The PNP chief, however, slammed “apparent attempts by certain quarters to create mass hysteria by propagating falsehood and fake news over cyberspace.”

“These persons will be unmasked, investigated and their motives probed,” he said.

“Hindi namin palalampasin ang ganitong pagpapalaganap ng kasinungalingan upang magsulong ng kanilang layunin,” he added.

Sinas’ statement comes after an organizer of a community pantry in Quezon City claimed of being “red-tagged” by government authorities.

The PNP chief also promoted their similar efforts in giving to those in need, saying the continuing implementation of the PNP Food Bank Project has benefitted some 35,512 families and 8,511 other individuals.

Vera Cruz named new JTF COVID-19 shield chief

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz has been designated as the new commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Wednesday.

“Effective on Tuesday, April 20, Vera Cruz was designated as the Deputy Chief for Operations and Task Force Commander of the enforcement arm of the national government in the implementation of quarantine rules and health protocols,” PNP chief General Debold Sinas said in a statement.

Vera Cruz replaced Police Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, who will retire on April 24 and whose designation has been terminated effective April 20, 2021.

“As the new commander of this task force, I expect PLtGen Vera Cruz will continue the plans and programs of the previous commander and enforce strict quarantine rules in the country to mitigate the spread of the virus while waiting for the available vaccines,” Sinas said.

The JTF Covid-19 Shield is composed of members of the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Sinas: No profiling, red tagging of community pantry organizers

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday denied claims that it is profiling the organizers of community pantries that have popped up in various areas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is no order from the National Headquarters to conduct any form of profiling of organizers of community pantries,” PNP chief Debold Sinas said in a statement.

“It is beyond the interest of the PNP to delve into purely voluntary personal activities of private citizens” he added.

Sinas issued the statement following reports that some of the organizers were being red-tagged and profiled by alleged government authorities.

Anna Patricia Non, the person behind the Maginhawa community pantry, earlier announced they would temporarily suspend their operation due to alleged red-tagging.

“We are aware of the activities of these community pantries as an expression of Bayanihan spirit, but we have no intention to interfere but to serve the best interest of law and order and public safety in such public activities,” Sinas said.

“Of particular consideration is the observance of public health standards when there is gathering of ten or more persons that builds-up a crowd,” he added.

The PNP chief noted that this is not the first time that similar activities were initiated amid the pandemic, saying that some farmers’ organizations and local government units have also hauled their produce of fruits and vegetables to help depressed communities in Metro Manila last year.

“Similarly, police did not interfere with these activities rather extended utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the needy,” Sinas said.

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