Ensure all vehicles are checked, cops told as Quarantine violators breach 100k mark

Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, ordered  police in Luzon and other parts of the country to further ensure the strict enforcement of the community quarantine and reduce the number of quarantine violators which have breached the 100,000 mark last Sunday.

Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar also ordered all members of the task force to ensure that they will fully inspect both cargo and non-cargo vehicles passing thru their checkpoints as part of their strict enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

The order was made in the wake of the increasing number of arrested quarantine rules and curfew violators over the past three weeks. PNP Directorate for Operations records showed that from March 17 to last April 10, the total number of violators was already 101,972 and counting.

As of last Friday, there were already a total of 60,040 ECQ violators apprehended in Luzon followed by 18,514 in Visayas and 23,420 in Mindanao.

The biggest number of violators who were apprehended and were either given a warning, fined or charged in court came from Metro Manila where the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas is enforcing a very strict ECQ.

Eleazar said of the total violators, 72,265 or 70.86 percent of the overall figure were given warning that they will be fined or arrested on 2nd offense. On the other hand,  4,727 or 4.64 percent of the total were ordered to pay fines based on ordinances issued by local government units.

Another 5,195 or 20.79 percent of the total were inquested and 19,787 were subjected to regular filing of cases.

Eleazar also called on all policemen manning ECs to be very strict when it comes to inspecting vehicles carrying Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence or UPORs.

“Be reminded that PNP Highway Patrol Group personnel manning Dedicated Control Points (DCPs) will inspect all cargo vehicles, not the non-cargo vehicles while officers manning the Quarantine Control Points or QCPs will inspect non-cargo vehicles, not the cargo vehicles,” Eleazar, also the Philippine National Police Deputy Chief for Operations said.

Eleazar and PNP-HPG director, Brigadier Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz have  inspected some of the DCPs in Metro Manila. He also said that since almost all the DCPs nationwide identified by the PNP-HPG are located almost at the exact place where there are QCPs, the two may co-exist depending on the coordination between the HPG and the local police.

The official said that there are 115 DCPs being manned by the PNP-HPG and a total of 3,593 QCPs spread all over Metro Manila and the rest of the country. Overall, there are 3,708  checkpoints now working in strategic parts of the country to strictly enforce the community quarantine and prevent the spread of the deadly COVID19 virus.

During his most recent inspection, Eleazar said that he noticed that some personnel manning QCPs have become lenient in checking non-cargo vehicles for UPORs.

Thus, he reminded officers manning all QCPs that with the establishment of the PNP-HPG-run DCPs, they now have more time to strictly enforce the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF-MEID guidelines on Authorized Persons Outside of Residence because they will no longer inspect cargo vehicles.

“There are some UPORs who are openly staying out of their residence because they are not being cautioned, particularly those in non-cargo vehicles. Bantayan natin para hindi mamihasa,” Eleazar said.

Upon the approval of  Gen. Gamboa, a total of 115 DCPs  have been set up nationwide to ensure the unhampered movement of cargo vehicles carrying food items and other basic necessities during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine which has been extended by President Duterte until April 30.

Eleazar said all these DCPs are being manned and supervised by 563 officers of the PNP-HPG and augmented by local police forces.