QC gov't intensifies crackdown on quarantine violators

The Quezon City government reinforced its guidelines on the arrest of quarantine violators amid the surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the city.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte issued a memorandum to police, city and barangay officials, and hospital directors regarding the warrantless arrest of quarantine violators.

"A marked increase in COVID-19 cases have been observed in Quezon City following the successive downgrading of community quarantine classifications covering the National Capital Region (NCR)," the memorandum dated July 13 read.

"Hence, there is a recognized need to implement, among others, heightened enforcement of Quarantine Measures such as the prevention of mass gatherings, social distancing, wearing of facemasks, etc.," the memo added.

As of Saturday night, Quezon City is still the city with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila with 2,022.

The memorandum stated that peace officers or private persons can arrest those who have committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense. 

They can also nab persons who they have reason to believe, based on facts or circumstances, have committed a violation.

Police officers and barangay officials must introduce themselves and read the person's rights before arresting them.

Authorities were ordered to identify temporary detention facilities for the arrested quarantine violators to avoid jail congestion.

Among the quarantine measures enumerated by the city government include the observance of limited gatherings and social distancing, the mandatory wearing of face masks, the regulation of liquor sales, distribution, and consumption, the observance of public safety hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and other ordinances protecting minors.