• Melo Acuna

Stricter enforcement of ECQ begins today

PNP to strictly enforce Enhanced Community Quarantine measures

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will strictly enforce the Enhanced Community Quarantine for the whole island of Luzon with local government units in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON and in specific areas where high and increasing COVID-19 cases have been reported beginning today.

PNP Chief Police General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said in a virtual press briefing Tuesday afternoon, they are implementing such measures based on the pronouncement of Cabinet Secretary and IATF-EID Spokesperson Karlo Alexei Nograles and in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier statement that the PNP should see to it compliance with anti-COVID-19 measures are strictly followed.

“Foremost, there will be no more warning for ECQ violators, instead arrest and inquest procedures will be applied to cases of violation of Republic Act No. 11469, Republic Act No. 11332 and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code,” General Gamboa said.

He added violations will carry appropriate penalties and fines but what will make it more difficult for violators “are the tedious judicial process” as well as having derogatory record in their personal profiles.

There have been 98,986 violators who were warned for violating ECQ measures from March 17 to date, 6,168 were fined, 31,363 arrested where 2,467 remain detained. The PNP filed 24,248 cases for a total of 136,517 EQC violators for the past 35 days.

There were 732 persons arrested for hoarding, profiteering, and manipulation of prices of basic goods while 9,419 Public Utility Vehicle drivers apprehended.

General Gamboa said he authorized the deployment of 12 teams of Special Action Force with 116 personnel to strategic locations, within Metro Manila to augment local PNP units in the intensified enforcement of ECQ beginning today.

“We should learn from the experience of other countries that prematurely relaxed the enforcement of their lockdown which caused a resurgence of infection, so please let us not be complacent and let us do this together correctly the first time and not regret having the surge of cases and deaths like what happened in countries severely hit by COVID-19,” he explained.

He underscored his command and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will not allow the last line of defense, the Medical Health Workers to continue to get infected by the virus due to ECQ violators as it will increase the risk of hospitals being overtaken by a deluge of COVID-19 cases.

General Gamboa said 74 confirmed cases were found in the Philippine National Police with 723 cases either suspected or probable COVID-19 cases. There were 12 PNP personnel who recovered while three died of the illness.

Aside from enforcing the ECQ measures, the PNP has been mandated to do contact tracing of COVID-19 positive persons, including those probable and suspected cases together with the different local government units throughout Luzon.

General Gamboa added their #Team PNP BayanihanFund Challenge project raised P136.7 million from their target of P200 million while their Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko raised P46.7 million to help at least 96,459 indigent people. (Melo M. Acuña)

PNP Chief Police General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa during his virtual press conference. (PNP PIO Photo)

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