By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases asked the public to be patient with law enforcers manning the checkpoints as they are only doing their jobs during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Cabinet Secretary and IATF spokesman Karlo Nograles made the statement after the police and the military started to strictly enforce quarantine guidelines due to the number of people and vehicles in the streets.
In his Friday presser, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles asked the public to be more patient with law enforcers even if they feel inconvenienced by the long queues of vehicles in the checkpoints.
“Please be patient with law enforcement officers, particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP), as they are just doing their jobs. They have been directed to be strict because being lax could have dire consequences for us all,” he said.
“Let us keep in mind that our police are also frontliners, and they, too, are vulnerable to infection in the course of doing their duties,” he added.
Nograles lauded the efforts of the policemen in doing more than just keeping the public safe during the ECQ. He noted how the police are supporting the government’s emergency subsidy program intended for those affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“They have gone beyond the call of duty and have raised P69.1 million from uniformed personnel and civilian employees for the Team PNP Bayanihan Fund,” he said.
The PNP Bayanihan Find seeks to augment the national government’s cash subsidy and social amelioration programs to assist poor families affected by the ECQ measures.
Nograles, meanwhile, lamented the passing of government personnel due to COVID-19.
According to the PNP, there were already 59 PNP personnel who have contracted the virus, three of whom have died already.
Aside from the three police officers, Nograles said the Palace also mourns the death of doctors and health workers and other frontliners due to the disease.
He also lamented the death of Ambassador Bernardita Catalla who succumbed to the disease while serving as the Philippine Ambassador to Beirut, Lebanon. In her honor, Philippine flags in all Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) offices in the Philippines and abroad will be flown at half-mast. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)