BOTH civilians and policemen were urged to respect and be patient with each other during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) arising from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander and PNP deputy chief for operations, said Thursday, April 30, that if these precepts are observed, altercations and violence would be avoided.
Civilians are urged to obey ECQ protocols and respect the authorities enforcing the rules.
The police, for their part, should observe maximum tolerance and respect human rights.
Eleazar noted that most cases of road rage happened because the aggressive action of a person is reciprocated by another.
“It takes two to tango in cases of confrontation. So it is important that cooler heads should always prevail,” he said.
“The keyword is still respect. If we know how to respect one another, either we would not do provocative actions that could lead to confrontation or would learn how to de-escalate tension. Either way, it is a win-win solution,” he added.
Eleazar also reminded civilians that the policemen, who are considered frontliners in the battle against Covid-19, have made sacrifices.
As of Thursday, 89 policemen have been infected with the novel coronavirus, or Sara-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.
Of the 89, three had died. Over 700 others are considered suspect cases, or individuals with mild or no symptoms and have not been tested for the virus.
“So please do not treat your police and other law enforcers as your enemy. Our enemy here is the coronavirus and the reason why your policemen and other law enforcers are on the streets 24/7 is they want to defeat the virus to protect you,” said Eleazar.
“We are currently living in an extraordinary time under constant threat of Covid-19, a global pandemic. So we ask the public to bear with your PNP, your government because these strict rules are aimed at ensuring your safety, our safety,” he added.
He assured that policemen would always be held accountable for their actions as public servants.
He said policemen were briefed on human rights before deployment to the front lines.
The Philippine National Police was widely criticized over the shooting and killing of former soldier Winston Ragos, the assault of an unruly foreigner residing in Dasmariñas Village and the beating of a fish vendor in Quezon City.
All three incidents stemmed from the enforcement of ECQ protocols. (SunStar Philippines)