THE commander of Quezon City Police Station 3 was relieved from post for breaching safety protocols when he allowed the deployment of policemen before the release of their swab test results.
Some 51 policemen deployed during the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26, who figured in a brief altercation with protesters, were later found positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday, July 29, 2021, said he ordered the administrative relief of Lieutenant Colonel Cristine Tabdi due to command responsibility.
“This should serve as a reminder to all our commanders to exercise prudence and to strictly abide with our existing protocols amid the serious threat of Covid-19, especially with the rising number of infections from the Delta variant,” Eleazar said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Brigadier General Antonio Yarra said 51 of the 82 police personnel of the said police station who tested positive of Covid-19 were deployed to ensure the security and peace and order during the protest actions related to the Sona.
The 82 policemen were among the 161 personnel of Police Station 3 who underwent a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on July 23. The results were released on Tuesday, July 27, and Wednesday, July 28.
The coronavirus-positive cops are now under quarantine while contact tracing and testing of their direct contacts are ongoing.
“Right now, our focus is to ensure that all of our personnel who were infected receive their necessary medical needs and continue our aggressive contact tracing and testing,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar urged the public to refrain from issuing unnecessary and insensitive comments against his men after militant group leaders slammed the police for breaching health protocols.
“Huwag sana nating kakalimutan na kaya naman sila na-deploy ay para tiyakin na mapayapa at maayos na maisagawa ang karapatan ng ilan nating kababayan na mag-protesta at maghayag ng saloobin,” Eleazar said. (SunStar Philippines)