POLICE will no longer arrest violators of curfew and quarantine protocols, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Idelbrandi Usana said on Monday, April 12, 2021.
Usana said PNP Chief Debold Sinas ordered all police units to immediately release quarantine violators after they are warned, documented or fined based on the existing ordinances in the locality.
He said what is important is to instill in the minds of the public the need to adhere to minimum health standards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The PNP chief issued the order after a curfew violator in Cavite died of a stroke following strenuous physical exercises. Another curfew violator in Laguna died allegedly after being beaten by barangay watchmen.
Usana said this is intended to lighten the workload of the police and the Department of Justice, as well as prevent overcrowding in detention cells.
“The chief PNP requires na ‘wag nang mag-aresto o magsampa ng kaso kasi you might be counter-productive also to our people... Kasi impractical po talaga na ang pulis with that requirement to conduct checkpoint kailangan pa niyang dalhin ‘yung nahuli nya o nasita papunta pa sa pulis (station) which is also tantamount to placing into custody ‘yung tao na nasita,” Usana said in a virtual press conference.
Usana said even the courts are overwhelmed by the number of cases arising from quarantine violations.
The PNP also appealed to the local government units down to the barangays to deal with quarantine violators themselves.
Usana said the police will address only violations of existing laws relating to peace and order and criminal activities.
Since March 29, a total of 37,275 violators have been accosted in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal and Cavite.
Of the number, 21,897 were warned, 13,924 were fined and 1,454 were required to render community service. (SunStar Philippines)