Over 70 drivers issued citation tickets on EDSA

OVER 70 drivers of different motor vehicles on EDSA have been issued traffic citation tickets by the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group and the Metro Manila Development Authority for violating the home quarantine and social distancing measures imposed by the government, PNP-HPG director, Brigadier General Eliseo DC Cruz said yesterday.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, 38 drivers were flagged down by PNP-HPG and MMDA operatives on EDSA followed by another 33 violators from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. of the same day, said Cruz.

Cruz said he has ordered his men to be very strict in enforcing the home quarantine and social distancing rules on private vehicles. “If there is at least one UPOR (Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence) as passenger or the only occupant is the driver but he is also UPOR, we will arrest them,” said the PNP-HPG director.

On orders of PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the PNP-HPG set up mobile checkpoints in Metro Manila and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila to run after drivers violating the home quarantine and social distancing in private vehicles.

Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said their ‘Oplan Habol’ specifically target drivers of private vehicles who are not Authorized Persons Outside of Residence during the Enhanced Community Quarantine or are wantonly violating the social distancing inside private cars by having two or more passengers.

Eleazar said that PNP-HPG agents have been tasked to check if private vehicle owners are complying with the guidelines of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) amid observations regarding the huge presence of vehicles on EDSA early this week.

He said the JTF COVID Shield has decided to set up mobile checkpoints along major thoroughfares within Metro Manila as an immediate response on the overt increase of private vehicles travelling in Metro Manila in the past few days, which were also noticed and posted by some netizens in their social media accounts.

“Maaring ang ibang mga kababayan natin ay naiinip na kaya naisipang mag-road trip para samantalahin na walang traffic, at baka nagsama pa ng mga kaibigan at ilang miyembro ng pamilya na mag-ikot-ikot sa Metro Manila gamit ang kanilang mga sasakyan,” said Eleazar.

“We would like to emphasize that this is a clear violation of the home quarantine and social distancing rules. Muli, ipinapaalala namin sa ating mga kababayan na huhulihin po namin kayo dahil ito po ay bawal under the ECQ guidelines,” he added.