Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Tuesday reminded police officers to ensure fair and humane treatment of curfew violators.
“In order to ensure the proper disposition of the curfew violators, police commanders are mandated to coordinate with the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) to iron out the guidelines on the penalties that would be imposed on the curfew violators as stipulated on the curfew ordinances. But one thing is clear, there must be no physical punishment that would be imposed on arrested curfew violators,” Eleazar said in a statement.
He, meanwhile, urged the public to comply with curfew rules and respect the people enforcing them in order to prevent unnecessary confrontation.
Eleazar said all police commanders should assist local government units (LGUs) in the strict and effective implementation of curfew hours in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AORs), especially in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Curfew must be enforced regardless of the existing community quarantine status. Containing the unnecessary movement and gathering of people even within a community is part of the general medical solution against Covid-19 since what we are after is the prevention of the spread of this deadly virus,” Eleazar said.
On Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that NCR, the provinces of Batangas and Bulacan, and the cities of Tacloban and Bacolod will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) until September 30.
Iligan City will be under modified enhanced community quarantine while the rest of the country is under the modified GCQ.
Metro Manila LGUs, except the cities of Muntinlupa and Navotas, have agreed to shorten curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from the previous 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. schedule.
Muntinlupa is implementing curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. while Navotas decided to stick to the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew hours.
Eleazar said that regardless of the duration of curfew hours, police commanders must make sure that these would be implemented strictly and properly in order to compel the people to behave and follow the quarantine protocols.
Due to the limited manpower, Eleazar said police commanders across the country must coordinate with their respective LGUs for the deployment of barangay tanods (watchmen) and the cities and municipal Public Order and Safety personnel as force multipliers in the implementation of curfew.
“We should all join forces and act as one for it is only through unity and a synchronized action from the national government down to the barangay level that we will have a good chance of expediting the flattening of the curve by the end of this month that was projected by the experts,” said Eleazar.
Only those classified as Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) shall be exempted from the curfew if their travel is work-related.
Those who are not considered as APOR are advised to stay at home or suffer being accosted, except if their presence outside is considered emergency-related.
More than 360,000 quarantine violators were warned, fined and arrested since March 17, including those who violate curfew rules. (PNA)