MORE than 300 were arrested for violations of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines in Benguet province.

The Benguet Provincial Police Office reported from March 19 to April 25 there were 224 persons caught violating curfew hours, followed by 42 disobeying persons in authority, 22 violating Republic Act No.11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and 14 in violation of the curfew and a lone violator on checkpoint guidelines.

La Trinidad logged the highest number of violators with 227 individuals followed by the towns of Tuba, Itogon and Buguias.

Police Colonel Elmer Ragay, Benguet Provincial Police Office (PPO) provincial director said the arrests were recorded since the implementation of the ECQ in Luzon.

“We already have 297 violators as of April 24 with cases filed against them,” Ragay said during online briefing on Friday.

“In Benguet, I have 13 municipalities with an estimated population in the last census of 400,000. One hot bed is La Trinidad. I call it hot bed because of the number of people going in La Trinidad from truckers, and vegetable trading area with the presence of trading post and BAPTC (Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center),” Ragay said.

Ragay created in La Trinidad a special team coming from the provincial headquarters to assist and help in the implementation of the Inter Agency Task Force guidelines.

For law enforcement, he underscored a total of 27 checkpoints in the province were in place manned on a 24-hour basis as he made an appeal to the people of Benguet to cooperate with the ECQ rules.

“Na ananusan tayo for almost two months, nayunan tayu pay. Hindi naman gagawa ng hakbang ang ating gobyerno kung hindi sa ikakabuti natin, we are all doing sacrifices at our own level, whether we are at the public or private sector, what I ask is for understanding and patience. What is May 15 compared to a backlash. Mas mahirap kung magrelapse tayo at madagdagaan apektadong community at kumalat pa lalo ang virus. Rest assured when it comes to public service your PNP would always be on the frontlines,” Ragay added.

Ragay said out of the 837 PNP personnel of Benguet, 10 police personnel were already listed as suspected Covid-19 patients with seven already finished their home quarantine as duly advised by the health officers.

He also noted zero Covid-19 positive cases among Benguet PPO personnel.