Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), to start the necessary preparations for the full implementation of the stricter rules under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.
This, as President Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to place Metro Manila under ECQ in order to effectively fight the spread of the virulent Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The decision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to approve the recommendation placing Metro Manila under the stricter Enhanced Community Quarantine from August 6 to August 20 is a necessary intervention to protect the public amid the rising cases of the more virulent Delta variant in the country,” said Eleazar in a statement.
“In this regard, I have already instructed the RD (Regional Director), NCRPO, Police Major General Vicente Danao, Jr., to make sure that all the quarantine restrictions that have been implemented before, including the deployment of appropriate number of PNP personnel and the coordination with Local Government Units for force multipliers, will be in place during that period,” he added.
Under ECQ, Eleazar said he expects police presence in every street, community, public utility vehicle, mass transport system and even in business establishment.
“We will make sure that the minimum public health safety protocols and other quarantine rules will be strictly implemented in order to achieve the purpose of this decision: to contain the spread of the COVID-19, particularly the more transmissible Delta variant,” he stressed.
The Chief PNP expressed confidence that the ECQ implementation would be done properly, noting that this is not the first time that Metro Manila was placed under the strictest quarantine rules.
But he reminded police personnel to be courteous at all times and be mindful of the rights of the people in dealing with the violators.
“Hindi kasama sa ating tungkulin ang pagpaparusa, pananakit at pagpapahiya sa mga violators (It is not part of ur mandate to punish, to hurt and even humiliate violators),” said Eleazar.
Imposing penalties that include extreme physical exercises put several policemen in trouble in the past.
Eleazar, however, appeal to the people of Metro Manila this early to respect the ECQ rules and the people enforcing them, including barangay security officers or barangay tanod.
“The fight against the COVID-19, including all its variants, is not only the responsibility of the people in the government, it is an obligation of everybody and our first line of defense is to be mindful of our protection and that of our family at all times—and to avail of the free vaccinations the moment that it becomes available for you,” said Eleazar.
“Let us work together to win this battle in order to make our lives normal again,” he added.