PUV drivers violating quarantine ban face arrest

THE National Capital Region Police Office and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group have jointly launched operations to arrest public transport drivers violating the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and are still ferrying passengers despite the ongoing effort to fight the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

PNP-HPG director Brigadier General Eliseo DC Cruz said they have been ordered by PNP chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa to apprehend drivers of taxis, tricycles, jeeps and motorcycles defying the ban.

“We will apprehend the drivers and impound their motor vehicles for violation of the government directive,” Cruz told the Journal Group.

In Metro Manila, NCPRO chief Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas said he has ordered a crackdown on violators of the public transport ban even as he appealed to local government officials to lead efforts to persuade public utility drivers in their cities and municipalities to temporarily stop plying their trade.

Last night, members of the Quezon City Police District arrested nine  “habal-habal” drivers operating in Litex Fairview to Rizal area and four others on Commonwealth Avenue,  Bgy. Old Capitol Site.

Sinas said they have received reports that the ‘habal-habal’ drivers are asking exorbitant fares ranging from P300 to as much as P700 from each passenger.

“This is in line with the enhanced community quarantine taking effect in the metropolis prohibiting all public utility transport vehicles from operating until the same is lifted. We enjoin everyone to observe social distancing to prevent further spread of this deadly virus. Those who will violate shall be dealt with accordingly,” Sinas said. 

The NCRPO director said they are also going to accost all motorcyclists “riding-in-tandem” in the metropolis.  “Riding in tandem is strictly prohibited unless, family related.  Please bear with us and cooperate," he said

"All forms of mass transportation are suspended until this enhanced community quarantine is lifted. I plead due adherence of the people of the Metro. This is an unseen enemy. We cannot take the risk,” Sinas explained.