PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Camilo Cascolan has ordered the relief of the commander of Ermita Police Station in Manila for failing to control the huge crowd that gathered for the opening of the artificial white sand beach of Manila Bay on Sunday, September 20, 2020.

Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield commander, confirmed the relief of Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caramoan.

Eleazar said Caramoan could have strictly implemented security and health safety measures with proper planning, monitoring and close coordination with the local government unit.

“Clearly, he also failed to comply with the JTF Covid Shield order that was coordinated with the chief PNP for all police commanders to monitor and immediately take action on violations of the quarantine protocols that are going viral in the social media,” Eleazar said in a statement.

Caramoan will be replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Alex Daniel as officer-in-charge.

Eleazar urged the people who intend to visit the Manila Bay to strictly observe physical distancing and comply with health safety measures amid the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Hundreds flocked to the area filled with dolomite sand to resemble a white sand beach when it was opened to the public on Saturday, September 19. A bigger crowd was observed Sunday.

Photos showed the crowd did not observe physical distancing in violation of community quarantine protocols. As a measure to slow down transmisison of Sars-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), people should stay at least one meter apart from each other. (SunStar Philippines)