By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY — While assuring that maximum tolerance will be observed in implementing quarantine protocols, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) nevertheless warned that law enforcers will now be stricter in the second round of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the city.
Cebu City Police Office (CPPO) Director Col. Cydric Earl Tamayo said those who will defy quarantine protocols will be arrested, and appropriate charges will be filed against them.
“We will be exercising maximum tolerance. We will ask violators to go home but if they become unruly, we will not hesitate to arrest them,” said Tamayo.
The city was downgraded to general community quarantine last June 1, but was reverted to ECQ last Monday as COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the city.
Tamayo said authorities will have to be more strict in the second round of ECQ if the public wants to have a more relaxed quarantine protocols.
“We really have to be strict now because the fact that we want back to ECQ, it means we had shortcomings in implementing the first round of ECQ. There were shortcomings not just on the part of the authorities but also on the part of the community. It means health protocols were not followed and we want to change that for us to be downgraded even just to GCQ,” said Tamayo.
Tamayo said police are on the lookout for motorists violating the number coding scheme, and those who do not observe health protocols such as the wearing of facemasks and social distancing.
Persons not authorized to go outdoors will also be apprehended.
Tamayo observed that in the second day of ECQ on Wednesday, traffic remained heavy.
“Traffic flow and movement of pedestrians remained heavy. We issued citation tickets to those who violated the number coding scheme. Some of them said they were not aware that the ECQ is already in effect while some really violated the protocols intentionally,” said Tamayo.
The city police chief said some roads will be closed so police could easily track down erring motorists.
“Some motorists will divert to secondary routes to avoid checkpoints. We have coordinated with the city government for the closure of some secondary routes so that we can have traffic chokepoints,” Tamayo said.
Close to 600 policemen will be utilized so that quarantine protocols can be implemented strictly, said Tamayo.
Policemen will focus more on highly populated areas such as in Barangays Pasil, Mambaling and Carbon area.
Tamayo said the CCPO has already asked the city government to instruct barangay officials to restore the community control points to easily regulate the ingress and egress of the residents in their respective areas.
Tamayo described the first day of ECQ in the city last Tuesday as generally peaceful.
“We devoted our time in the first day for information dissemination. It went well. The next days will be enforcing of the measures and we will be strict because we will suffer if these rules will not be implemented properly,” Tamayo said.