PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday ordered a much stricter implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) nationwide to prevent the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
In a memorandum to all 17 Police Regional Directors and the heads of the 5 PNP Directorates for Integrated Police Operation, Gen. Gamboa thru PNP Director for Operations, Major Gen. Emmanuel Luis D. Licup, ordered a much stricter enforcement of the ECQ all over the country thru the increased conduct of mobile and foot patrols.
The PNP chief also ordered the utilization of barangay force multipliers to force the people to stay at home except those listed in the Authorized Persons Outside Residence or APOR during the implementation of the ECQ.
“Enforce necessary discipline to persons found violating the protocols set forth by the IATF-MEID,” said Maj. Gen. Licup as the PNP noted the fact that many Filipinos continue to take for granted the state of public health emergency all over the Philippines which required all to practice ‘self distancing’ and to stay at home at all times.
The official also directed all PNP-DIPO directors to conduct Red Teaming Operations to ensure that the personnel on the ground are doing their duties and responsibilities in conducting mobile patrols and enforcing a stricter implementation of the ECQ within their areas of responsibilities.
The order was issued amid reports from the media, law enforcers and concerned citizens regarding the presence of many people nationwide, particularly in Metro Manila who are not strictly observing the policies set forth by the government to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
The PNP said health experts have considered as ‘alarming’ and very serious’ the increase of confirmed cases COVID-19 in the country as the cases rose from 380 last March 22 to 462 on March 23 with the Department of Health reporting 82 new cases in just a matter of one day.
The DOH also reported 33 deaths last Monday from 25 last Sunday. “It is increasing day by day and it seems many people did not read the daily news or are just taking for granted the danger brought about by COVID-19,” the PNP said.
Officials were ordered to remind all people to ‘just stay at home’ if they are not included in the APOR list or they will be arrested, jailed and charged in court for violating direct orders from higher authorities.
Over a thousand persons who were found either drinking in public, loitering or violating the curfew hours have been accosted and taken to the police stations since two weeks ago.
Most of the apprehensions were made by the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas and the Police Regional Office 4-A in Calabarzon region under Brigadier Gen. Viente D. Danao Jr.