The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will not tolerate any kind of abuses committed by police officers enforcing the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Hindi tama yun at yun ay ating iimbestigahan. Hindi hahayaan ng pamunuan ng PNP na mag-aabuso ang pulis o sinomang namumuno o kawani ng gobyerno sa mga pagkakataong ito na kailangan natin ng pagtutulungan at sakripisyo (That is wrong and we will probe that. The PNP leadership will not let any police officer, a person in authority or government employee to commit abuse at this time when what we need are solidarity and sacrifice),” Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, told reporters when sought for comment during his visit to a quarantine control point in one of the boundaries of Cavite and Metro Manila.
Eleazar’s remark was in response to reports of Manila police officers who were caught on video while hitting, threatening and cursing on some residents in an area who left their houses to buy food.
The policemen allegedly hit and cursed at two residents who showed their quarantine passes issued by Barangay 384 Zone 39 in Quiapo, for them to be able to go out and buy their necessities during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine inside the Golden Mosque compound in Quiapo, Manila
According to the owner of the video, the incident happened at the gate of the compound on Wednesday.
The cop also threatened to shoot those who would go out of their residence.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to investigate the matter.
MPD chief, Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, meanwhile, reminded cops imposing quarantine rules should always remain calm and exercise maximum tolerance.
“The leadership of the Manila Police District will neither tolerate nor condone any wrongdoing of any of our Policemen while strictly implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine. The leadership of MPD would like also to appeal to each and everyone to fully cooperate, by obeying the rules and to please be part of the solution to the serious problem the country is facing due to the spread of Covid-19. Once again, we request everybody to heed our call to fully cooperate in the fight against Covid-19,” Miranda said in a press statement.
Meanwhile, the PNP reminded unit commanders and chiefs of police to ensure that all quarantine control points established by the city, municipal and barangay local governments are properly supervised by police officers.
Police officers should also ensure the safe and unimpeded passage of food products, basic and essential commodities and authorized personnel categorized in the medical, agricultural, and industrial and utilities sectors.
Farmers, farmworkers, fisherfolk and agribusiness personnel shall also be exempted from home quarantine provided that they do not exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms.
Non-essential walks not allowed
Eleazar, who also heads the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield said policemen manning the checkpoints may deny people who tend to walk towards their destination, especially those coming from Manila going to their provinces.
“’Yung maglalakad hanggang Bicol o Quezon huwag na padaanin dahil hindi sila palalampasin. Kung sakaling makalusot sa inyo, makalusot sa Laguna, Quezon, pagdating sa Bicol haharangin. Kawawa naman itong mga kababayan natin doon na haharangin kaya dito palang harangin nyo na (Those who will walk all the way to Bicol or Quezon, don’t let them pass because they will not be allowed. If ever they pass through you or they will pass through Laguna or Quezon, they will be intercepted when they come to Bicol. It is pitiful enough for them if it goes like that so this early, don’t let them pass),” he said. (PNA)