By Aaron Recuenco
Parents should be the role model for their children in observing home quarantine and other rules set by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield said on April 28, Tuesday.
This, as the government further intensified security measures with the extension of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and with of most of the country placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of JTF COVID Shield, said that minors were among the violators of home quarantine. These were also released almost immediately, as the police could not arrest them.
“Parents have the obligation of making sure that their children stay home and comply with government rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Better yet, parents should become role models for their children in following home quarantine, social distancing, and other safety measures for the protection of the entire family,” said Eleazar.
Since the implementation of the lockdown, police have recorded a total of 150,085 curfew violators. Most of those arrested were from Luzon.
But Eleazar said that since April 21, they have observed a significant decline on the number of violators after police commandos, police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) personnel, and soldiers on board armored personnel carriers have been deployed in areas where violations of home quarantine have been prevalent.
Since April 21, the number has been reduced, making a steep decline from 3,036 on April 22 to only 1,585 on April 23. Since then, the number of violators have not breached the 2,000 mark.
But despite orders not to warn violators, police were left with no option as most of the recent violators were minors.
“We cannot arrest minors because that’s what the law states, all we could do is to warn them. But in this extraordinary time that demand full compliance of home quarantine rule, we will pass the obligation to the parents to keep their children at home,” said Eleazar.
He, however, said that police commanders were already instructed to coordinate with local government units, especially with barangay officials, on imposing possible sanctions on parents of minors who would violate home quarantine.