MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has expressed its support to the move to implement a total lockdown after President Rodrigo Duterte floated the idea of police and military takeover amid violations of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon.
In a statement released on Friday (April 17), PNP Chief Police General Archie Gamboa said, “the Philippine National Police stands squarely in support of President Rodrigo R Duterte’s intention to decisively enforce a total lockdown for the entire period under Enhanced Community Quarantine.”
Gamboa said some local officials have nodded to impose tougher measures as “some violators feel they can get away with the enforcement of quarantine rules and local ordinances” because authorities are required to release them within 12 hours in the absence of inquest officers.
“I call on all Regional Directors to put action to the strong words of the President. I expect all of you to support this,” Gamboa said in the statement.
Latest figures show that as of April 18, 2020, a total of 126,302 ECQ violators were either arrested, fined and warned.
About 713 persons were arrested for hoarding, profiteering and manipulation of prices of medical products and other essentials, and 9,245 for violating the prohibition on public transport operations during the ECQ period.
The PNP Chief also ordered the massive crackdown on illegal activities that violate physical distancing such as illegal cockfights, card games, mah-jong, and drinking sessions in public places.
Meanwhile, the PNP Highway Patrol Group together with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that they have issued about 98 citation tickets to private motorists composed of 63 Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) and 35 Ordinance Violations Receipt (OVR) for being “Unauthorized Person Outside of Residence (UPOR) in relation to the Strict Implementation of COVID 19 Enhanced Community Quarantine” on Friday, April 17.
HPG Director, Police Brigadier General Eliseo DC Cruz reiterated the government’s advice to the public who are not frontliners to just to stay at home.
“PNP-HPG and MMDA will continue to enforce the provisions of the Extended ECQ on erring motorists and other road users to deny the spread of COVID-19 in our roads,” Cruz said in a report. —mbmf