INTERIOR Secretary Eduardo Ano has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to increase police visibility in all communities to guarantee the safety of all the frontliners who are risking their lives in the campaign against the virus pandemic.
Ano made the call as he strongly condemned the harassment and violence committed against an ambulance driver who was hospitalized after being shot during a heated argument over the parking of an ambulance inside a subdivision in Candelaria, Quezon.
A police report said that the incident happened around 9:00 p.m. Thursday.
Sofronio Agno Ramilo, 51, ambulance driver of the Peter Paul Medical Center of Candelaria Inc. had verbal tussle with Ramil Galeo Alcantara who got mad when he parked the ambulance inside the subdivision.
Both Ramilo and Alcantara are residents of the subdivision.
Alcantara insisted that the vehicle should not be allowed to enter the subdivision saying it is used for transporting COVID-19 patients and that it endangers the health of the residents.
At the height of the argument, Alcantara reportedly fired a gun into the ground but the bullet ricocheted upwards and hit Ramilo’s hand.
Ramilo is now at the hospital while Alcantara was arrested and now in the custody of the local police pending the filing of charges against him.
"Following this unfortunate incident, I have ordered the PNP anew to ensure the safety of our frontliners, from the doctors, nurses and hospital staff including ambulance drivers, who are risking their lives in the fulfillment of their duty as health professionals,” Ano said.
The PNP, he added, should constantly monitor hospitals and clinics while increasing police visibility in all communities to guarantee the safety and well-being of the frontliners.
“Sa panahon ng krisis dahil sa COVID-19, mahalaga ang serbisyo ng mga health frontliners para pangalagaan ang mga maysakit kaya dapat na siguruhin ng kapulisan ang kaligtasan nila habang tinutupad nila ang kanilang tungkulin,” the DILG chief pointed out.