Detainees, cops at Caloocan police facility to undergo swab testing

Published June 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Joseph Almer Pedrajas

After two of the PISTON 6 elderly jeepney drivers were discovered positive for the virus after their release from the Caloocan City Police Custodial Facility, 133 individuals there will undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) swab testing, the city’s chief of police said Friday (June 19).

City police chief Col. Dario Menor said 129 detainees or persons under police custody (PUPCs) and four police officers manning the facility will be tested for the coronavirus.

He said the detainees will be temporarily separated from other people inside the custodial facility while awaiting their results, while the police officers will undergo quarantine.

He added that none of the PUPCs are currently showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

The six elderly jeepney drivers –Ruben Baylon, Elmer Cordero, Ramon Paloma, Wilson Ranilla, Severino Ramos, and Arsenio Ymas — members of the PISTON transport association, were arrested last June 2 and detained for almost a week in the facility.

They had protested at EDSA-Monumento in Caloocan against the government’s continuing the suspension of jeepney operations even after the easing of quarantine restriction in the national capital region.

On Thursday (June 18), one of the PISTON 6’s lawyers, VJ Topacio, confirmed that two of the drivers tested positive for COVID-19 after the office of Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Egay Erice initiated to test them.

Topacio said he did not know where the drivers might have caught the coronavirus, but added that “the over-cramped situation in our prisons is really a good candidate.”