Parañaque City mayor orders arrest of quarantine violators as COVID-19 cases surge

Published July 16, 2020, 3:53 PM

by Jean Fernando

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez ordered the city police chief and the 16 barangay chairpersons on Thursday (July 16) to strictly enforce the implementation of health protocols after the city’s tally of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases hit 1,787, from 1,556 cases on July 11.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez (FACEBOOK/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This is an increase of 14.85 percent in the number of cases in just five days. 

Olivarez also directed city police chief Col. Robin King Sarmiento to file charges against negligent parents who let their children go out in public without face masks and during curfew hours.

In his one-page memorandum, Olivarez said “you are hereby directed to ensure the strict enforcement and to exercise full vigilance in the implementation of the health standards on the use of face masks, strict physical distancing, [and] crowding on public places and in all major streets.”

The mayor expressed his frustration when the City Health Office informed him that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 1,787, with 742 (42.6 percent) of them active cases, including those who have no known address.

The number of cases has been rising – to 1,611 on July 12, or  43 new cases; 1,697 on July 13, or 86 new cases; and 1,740 on July 14, or 47 new cases. 

Despite being placed under a three-day calibrated lockdown, Barangay BF still has the highest number of confirmed cases at 295, with 177 active cases. Its 11 deaths are the most among the city’s barangays.

Barangay Sun Valley has 152 confirmed and 92 active cases. Last July 8, it only had 117 confirmed cases and 73 active cases, or an addition of 19 active cases in a week, according to the city health office.

Olivarez, who is the incumbent chairman of the Metro Manila Council, has recommended the extension of the general community quarantine (GCQ) in the entire national capital region to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The suggestion of the metro mayors was approved Wednesday night by President Duterte. 

Olivarez said thousands of residents, particularly in the slum areas, are hardheaded, uncooperative, and not respecting health authorities despite daily reminders to follow the health and quarantine protocols.

“Lalong dumami ang pasaway ngayong nasa GCQ tayo (The number of hard-headed people is increasing now that we are in GCQ). They don’t fear being infected with COVID-19 virus, kaya kailangan na talaga siguro ng kamay na bakal (that’s why we probably really need an iron hand),” Olivarez said in his order to Sarmiento.

Olivarez also informed Sarmiento that the city council has passed an ordinance imposing a fine on residents who violate quarantine protocols.

Violation of the ordinance means a penalty of P1,000 and six-hour detention on first offense; P2,000 and nine-hour detention on second offense; and P3,000 and nine hours imprisonment on third offense.

Olivarez also ordered all police block commanders to apprehend minors who are violating curfew hours and the city ordinance on the wearing of face masks.