COVID task force intensifies curfew enforcement

Published September 1, 2020, 2:16 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Joint Task Force COVD Shield has initiated a renewed campaign to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through aggressive implementation of curfew across the country, especially at the National Capital Region where a metro-wide curfew is in place due to the high cases of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said all police commanders across the country have been already ordered to assist the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the strict and effective implementation of curfew using the local ordinances in their respective areas of responsibility.

“Curfew must be enforced regardless of the existing community quarantine status. Containing the unnecessary movement and gathering of people even within a community is part of the general medical solution against COVID-19 since what we are after is the prevention of the spread of this deadly virus,” said Eleazar.

President Duterte has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Batangas, and the cities of Tacloban and Bacolod under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until September 30 while Iligan City was placed under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

The rest of the country is under the Modified GCQ.

Since almost all the LGUs have already passed an ordinance on the implementation of curfew, Eleazar said it must be implemented since it is part of the efficient measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus by preventing the unnecessary movement of people.

But due to limited manpower, Eleazar said police commanders across the country must coordinate with their respective LGUs for the deployment of barangay tanods and the cities and municipal Public Order and Safety personnel as force multipliers in the implementation of curfew.

PNP Memo

According to PNP Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Luis Licup, all police commanders were instructed to coordinate with the local officials down to the barangay level to achieve the purpose of the curfew. 

Licup tasked all police commanders to conduct regular patrolling and set up random checkpoints.

He stressed that the people listed under the Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) shall only be exempted from the curfew if their travel is work-related.

Those who are not considered as APOR are advised to stay at home.  They will be accosted except if their presence outside their homes is considered emergency-related.

Fair, Human Treatment

Eleazar, however, stressed that police commanders must ensure the fair and humane treatment of curfew violators.

 “But one thing is clear, there must be no physical punishment that would be imposed on arrested curfew violators,” he added.

More than 360,000 quarantine violators have been warned, fined and arrested since March 17, include those who violated the curfew rules.

 
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