A FAKE special assistant to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año was apprehended by agents of the Philippine National Police while using a siren and travelling along EDSA without any authority yesterday, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said.
According to the official, members of the PNP-HPG headed by Brigadier Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz flagged down the siren-using suspect identified as Roy del Rosario while they were checking Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence or UPORs in EDSA.
During questioning, the man presented a certification purportedly issued by the DILG chief last April 1 saying he is a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and assigned to transport important equipment including medical supplies and essential front-line workers to any part of Luzon.
What caught the attention of the PNP-HPG is the bottom part of the alleged DILG chief’s letter which said: Attention: Philippine National Police (PNP) and Quarantine Check Point (QCP) and Dedicated Check Point (DCP; Mandatory passage of the vehicle driven by the person in this certificate is required and use of Siren and Federal Blinker is a must.’
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that they were told by Sec. Año’s special assistant, Major Mark Ruby that that the signature in the letter is not the DILG chief’s. “It appears that the suspect fabricated the letter in order to gain passage along EDSA and other parts of the country. We will be filing criminal charges against him,” said Eleazar.
On orders of PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, all police commanders in Metro Manila and the rest of the country were ordered to check on all private vehicles who are possibly carrying Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence or UPORs as part of the police’s effort to fight the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Eleazar said.
The official said that the PNP chief also approved his recommendation for the PNP-HPG to raid areas where home quarantine and social distancing rules are being violated. As of yesterday, police have already apprehended over 130,000 ECQ violators nationwide, nearly 93,000 of them given warnings they would be fined or charged in court for a repeated offense.