Town mayor assails SAF commandos for breaking health protocols

MALUNGON, Sarangani- The local government here has assailed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force (SAF), who breached quarantine protocols when they escorted the remains of a deceased colleague back to his home.

According to Malungon Mayor Mari Theresa Constantino, one of the SAF personnel eventually tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Constantino lamented that the SAF personnel did not coordinate with the local authorities upon their arrival here to escort the remains of a dead colleague, who was from Barangay Malalag Cogon here last September 17.

She said two SAF personnel  escorted the remains from Manila via Davao City where they were subjected to swab test upon their arrival at the airport.

However, they still proceeded to Malungon pending the result of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

Worse, eight other SAF personnel from General Santos City also came to meet them  at the house of their deceased colleague.

Constantino said the SAF personnel refused to submit themselves to quarantine protocols and contact-tracing registration when they passed the border control points before they entered the municipality.

She said the municipal health office was informed the following day, September 18, that one of the SAF members, who came from Manila tested positive for COVID-19.

The mayor said the local Task Force against COVID-19 was set to file charges against the SAF personnel for breaching the quarantine protocols.

Local authorities here have undertaken stringent safety protocols against COVID-19 after two local transmission cases were reported in the municipality.  

 The SAF personnel, who tested positive for COVID-19, was taken to the municipal isolation facility while contact-tracing was launched for people who had close contact with him.