The Philippine National Police (PNP) stands squarely in support of President Rodrigo R. Duterte in case he would order to decisively enforce a total lockdown for the entire period under Enhanced Community Quarantine.
This, according the PNP chief General Archie Gamboa in a statement Friday.
“I share President Duterte’s call on all Filipinos for a little more sacrifice and greater optimism of better days ahead,” Gamboa said.
“I call on all Regional Directors to put action to the strong words of the President. I expect all of you to support this,” he added.
The police chief said local chief executives are also in favor of the radical approach to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“Some Local Government Executives have in fact signified approval to more radical proposals to impose tougher measures against violators of the ECQ,” he said.
“Maybe some violators feel they can get away with our enforcement of quarantine rules and local ordinances, but only because we are not under ideal conditions to detain all law offenders, except to complete the mandatory requirements of documentation and booking.” he added.
Gamboa, however, issued a stern warning to all violators of the ECQ, “Trust me, their brush with the law today will not go unpunished. There will be a day of reckoning for all lawbreakers when we shall find the appropriate time to directly file criminal charges in court to begin their agony of criminal prosecution,” he said, citing, “we have, in fact, reacted with compassion to certain situations involving people’s need for food and basic necessities, and we will continue to be reasonable and fair along this matter,” he added.
“But because so many people are willfully violating government orders to remain indoors, their bold acts of disobedience are making containment efforts against the virus less effective,” he added. He said law enforcers are willing to risk health and safety in order to implement the law.
“Worse and more troublesome for the police, it is taking its toll on police personnel manning the Quarantine Control Points who risk exposure to unusually heavy crowding of unauthorized persons,” he said.
“As of today, there had been 65 cases of confirmed infection among PNP personnel, 40 of whom remain in sick bay, 14 are under home quarantine, eight have recovered, while three have succumbed,” he added.
He, however. noted that more stringent measures are now in place to to further restrict movement by the public and enforce physical distancing.
“A crackdown on unauthorized travel is now imposed by the HPG, NCRPO and MMDA along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila,” he said.
“I have issued instructions to all Police Regional Offices to strictly implement the same prohibition in their areas of responsibility following the guidelines of the IATF-MEID that categorically identifies Authorized Persons Outside of Residence, with emphasis on special consideration for frontline workers in the medical and healthcare, security, essential services, agricultural and utilities sectors,” he added.
“In coordination with LGUs, PNP line units are also instructed to launch a crackdown on illegal activities,that constitute violation of rules on physical distancing and gathering of persons, including illegal cockfight, card games, mah-jong, and drinking sessions in public places,” he said.
Source: Nonette N. Castillo, Philippine Information Agency, April 18, 2020