TWELVE doctors working for a private hospital in Cebu City were apprehended by operatives of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) after they were caught drinking after curfew hours inside a bar in Barangay Banilad on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

They were among the 166 persons who were caught by CCPO operatives and members of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team during Oplan Bulabog, which started Friday night, Jan. 15.

Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, CCPO’s deputy director for operations, said they apprehended the 12 doctors even though they are authorized persons outside residence (Apor) because they violated executive orders against public drinking and the 11 p.m. curfew imposed amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Just because you are considered an Apor you can have an alcoholic drink in public places. An Apor is only allowed outside to go on duty. But once the duty is over, he or she is expected to return home and not go somewhere else to hang out or have a drink,” Parilla said in Cebuano.

The doctors and the other apprehended persons were brought to the multipurpose gym in Barangay Tejero where they were temporarily detained.

In a separate interview, Probe team head Raquel Arce said the doctors told them that they were in the bar to relieve some stress after work.

But stress or no stress, doctors and other Apors are not exempted from quarantine laws, she said.

“This is a stern warning to all. My office, the Cebu Environmental Sanitation Team, the CCPO and other government agencies will strictly implement health protocols,” Arce said in Cebuano.

Those apprehended during the Oplan Bulabog operation are required to attend a seminar or render community service. If they can afford to pay the P500 fine, then they can go home.

On Friday night, police and military personnel also conducted patrols in Barangays Suba, Pasil and Sawang Calero to ensure residents weren’t holding parties to celebrate the Fiesta Señor.

Before the pandemic, residents of the three barangays held their own Sinulog activities to celebrate the annual feast of the Señor Sto. Niño or the Child Jesus, as part of tradition.

Parilla reminded residents that gatherings are still prohibited due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

However, they’ve allowed small family gatherings, but disco parties are strictly prohibited, he said.

He said police will monitor households to ensure compliance, adding that they and military personnel won’t hesitate to arrest violators.

“Walay mag party-party. Pwede rang mangaon sulod sa balay uban ang pamilya, pero kung kombera na nga daghang tawo sulod sa imong balay nya wala nay distancing dili nana pwede (No one is allowed to hold parties. However, they can eat inside the house with family members but large gatherings, even indoors, where social distancing is no longer observed, is a big no-no),” Parilla said. (AYB, BBT / JKV)