IN COMPLIANCE with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, newly assumed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar directed police officers to arrest violators of health and quarantine protocols, but reminded them to respect human rights.

He gave the order during his first command conference on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

“Puwede natin silang arestuhin pero hindi natin sila dapat parusahan at lalong hindi natin sila dapat saktan. Kapag ginawa ninyo ito, mananagot kayo sa akin,” he said.

(We can arrest them but we should not punish nor hurt them. If you do this, you will have to answer to me.)

Eleazar said arresting violators is a measure needed to ensure compliance to the minimum health standards, such as proper wearing of face masks in public.

“I believe that most of the Filipinos are doing what needs to be done to protect themselves and their family pero meron talaga tayong mga kababayan na hindi talaga mapakiusapan at patuloy na nagpapasaway. The President’s order is for these hard-headed people,” Eleazar said in a statement.

He said the penalties for violation of the minimum health standards are already embodied in the local ordinances.

Eleazar appealed to all citizens to follow health protocols set by the government to avoid getting arrested or being fined. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)