Foreign ECQ violators face arrest

ACTING on instructions of Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas yesterday ordered the Metro Manila police force to apprehend all violators of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, foreigners included, to teach them a lesson.

“Let us fully comply with the directives of the Chief,PNP to implement stricter ECQ, no more warnings and all violators should be arrested immediately and if possible, let us make them do community services so that they will stay inside their houses,” Sinas ordered all five NCRPO district directors and their chief of police and all station commanders.

The NCRPO chief said ECQ violators who will be found using fake identification cards or Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) passes issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will be arrested and placed in jail or special detention cells and charged in court.

“All persons walking outside of their residences without any reason and genuine passes should also be apprehended. Those who will resist shall be taken to the police station and charged with criminal offenses. What is clear here is that we should impose a much stricter ECQ. No one is excused or exempted, even foreigners,” Sinas said.

The order was issued amid complaints that some foreigners are violating the quarantine procedures and are continuing to loiter or jog in groups in some parts of Metro Manila including the Bonifacio Global City where there is a huge presence of foreign expats renting posh condominiums.

The NCRPO chief also ordered his men to ensure that common places like pool areas and mini-parks and jogging areas in posh condominiums and subdivisions in the metropolis will be closed as part of the quarantine rules.

Sinas likewise instructed his men to apprehend people who are walking on the streets with no face masks. He also told NCRPO personnel to require all persons passing thru their Quarantine Control Points and checkpoints to present valid IDs and quarantine pass and asked why they are outside their residences.

All persons passing thru QCPs in the metropolis msut also undergo a temperature check.

Sinas said exemptions to the ECQ and other similar directives will directly emanate from the NCRPO higher headquarters and all orders contrary to this shall be set aside.

The Metro Manila police chief said they will be fully monitoring compliance by their ground commanders to the order to strictly implement the ECQ as well as the use of all their available personnel for the matter.

To fight the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, Sinas said he wants his men to strictly implement all ECQ-related laws in order to ensure that all unauthorized people will be staying in their homes.

On Tuesday, 116 PNP Special Action Force commandos were deployed to 10 public markets in the metropolis to help enforce quarantine rules specifically social distancing and the mandatory wearing of face masks, said Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.

Sinas said the SAF troops will be performing their ECQ duties from 6 a.m. to 12 noon daily in several parts of Manila, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig, Las Piñas, Caloocan City, Muntinlupa City, Parañaque City and Marikina cities.

He added that the Joint Task Force-NCR of the Armed Forces of the Philippines also sent 525 Army reservists to different parts of Metro Manila to help implement a much stricter ECQ. Sinas said that the reservists who will be under the supervision or regular Army troops equipped with short firearms will be deployed in Pateros, Quezon City, Parañaque City,  Manila City, Taguig City, Makati City and Pasay City.

Sinas guaranteed that all the deployed NCRPO and PNP-SAF personnel and Army reservists in Metro Manila will be equipped with basic personal protective gears such as masks, gloves, face shields and disinfectants to protect them from the virus.