THE police will no longer issue any warning, but will instead immediately arrest violators of quarantine protocols in Cebu City, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa said on Monday, June 29, 2020.
Gamboa said law enforcers in Cebu City have been given this directive. Cebu City was reverted to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for the period June 16 to June 30, 2020 because of widespread community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and high critical care utilization rate.
He said, however, that Cebuanos have generally adhered to quarantine protocols. There have been only a few violators.
“Yes yan naman ‘yung guidance natin doon sa Cebu kasi it nga is a requirement talaga kasi sobrang lobo nung kanilang infection doon that's why kung puwede wala nang warning, diretso na but generally ang behavior ng mga Cebuano sumunod naman sila pero may pangilan ngilan na pasaway but hindi ganun karami. Majority follows the quarantine imposition of Cebu,” Gamboa said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
“(But) Yes I have such an order,” he added.
Gamboa said at least 250 police personnel from neighboring regions and Special Action Force have augmented police operations in Cebu City for the implementation of ECQ guidelines.
Gamboa said they have also deployed 500 to 600 reserved forces in Cebu City to help enforce ECQ rules.
Central Visayas Police Regional Office Director Albert Ignatius Ferro also deployed their Drone Patrol Units composed of 11 drones piloted by personnel of the Cebu City Police Office to monitor compliance and shoot videos of areas where weak points and potential areas of quarantine violations would occur.
“The purpose of drone deployment is that if ECQ violations are observed in a particular area, troops will be immediately sent there to enforce the quarantine rules,” said Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield commander and PNP deputy chief for operations.
“Per evaluation of the party who went there led by General Eleazar together with General (Emmanuel) Licup and General (Clifton) Empiso, okay naman daw ang assessment. As a matter of fact may pinakita ako na mga drone moving pictures. Really makita mo talagang what happened in Manila nung inimplement natin ‘yung ECQ here. So they are doing good so far in Cebu,” said Gamboa.
Eleazar said the deployment of SAF troops and the directive to no longer warn and immediately arrest quarantine violators proved effective in compelling residents of Metro Manila to stay at home.
He said they were expecting similar results in Cebu City.
“We are confident that the compliance of our kababayan in Cebu City to quarantine rules will be sustained especially now that we have started the deployment of SAF troopers in strategic areas of the City,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“Our SAF commanders, soldiers and personnel of the Police Regional Office-7 are now working closely to monitor the compliance of Cebu City residents to the ECQ rules,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)