AUTHORITIES have arrested 39 persons involved in attacks and discrimination against healthcare workers.
Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander and PNP deputy chief for operations, said a total of 104 cases of attacks and discrimination against health workers have been recorded since March 17, 2020.
Of these cases, 53 are considered as solved, 13 have been cleared and 38 are still under investigation.
A case is considered solved if at least one of the suspects has been arrested and is charged while a cleared case means that charges were filed but no suspect has been arrested yet.
Eleazar said charges have already been filed against the 39 arrested persons.
Based on the Philippine National Police (PNP) data, most of the attacks and incidents of discrimination occurred in Central Visayas with 17 cases, Western Visayas with 14, Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) with 11 and Metro Manila with 10 cases.
Among the incidents involved suspects dousing the health workers with cleaning chemicals. In some cases, healthcare workers were evicted from or denied entry to their rented homes.
There was no recorded attack in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
“Our Chief PNP has already ordered for the intense manhunt operations against those who remain at large,” Eleazar said.
“We will make sure that these people who would dare attack or discriminate our hero health workers will pay,” he added.
Eleazar assured that the police will continue to provide protection to the health workers.
“The Filipino people owe to the health workers why we are still standing as a nation and why we continue to believe that we could defeat the coronavirus disease. Health workers serve as the hope and the inspiration of even the other frontliners like the police and the military to continue fighting because they know that even if they fall, there will be health workers who would take care of them,” he said.
“The least that we could do as law enforcers is to protect them from shameless and inconsiderate people who unfairly treat them despite their sacrifices,” he added.
Eleazar urged healthcare workers to save in their phones or memorize the JTF Covid Shield hotline numbers in order for the government to immediately respond to their security concerns: 0998-849-0013 for Smart users and 0917-538-2495 for Globe users.
The JTF Covid Shield may also be reached through its email address: email@example.com. (SunStar Philippines)