A total of 4,470 violators of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Northern Mindanao have been apprehended by the local police since last March 17 with the number expected to further grow as the Police Regional Office 10 steps-up ECQ enforcement in the region, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
According to PRO10 director, Brigadier General Rolando B. Anduyan, 4,012 of the violators were warned they would be facing arrest and charges on a repeated offense while 497 were ordered to pay fines for violation of different city and municipal ordinances.
Another 69 were arrested and 48 were charged for curfew violation while 100 were charged for violation of quarantine protocols.
During the period, PRO10 operatives also arrested 44 for involvement in hoarding, profiteering and manipulation of prices of basic/essential goods in the region.
A total of 105 Quarantine Control Points manned by policemen and soldiers have been established in the region and are getting help from local government units.
Anduyan said he has ordered the strict enforcement of quarantine protocols specifically social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks and observance of curfew hours.
Police are also checking quarantine passes issued by LGUs to their constituents amid the presence of hard-headed people who continue to ignore ECQ and refuse to stay home.
Anduyan said there is a need to strictly enforce the ECQ in the region as they won’t allow health workers and other ‘front-liners’ to get infected by the COVID-19 virus that may be passed on by some carriers ignoring the quarantine protocols.
“We are encouraging the community to stay inside their homes if they do not have important transactions outside. They may however come out to work, buy food and medicine and perform other urgent matters provided they have the authority,” said the PRO10 director.
He also appealed to local netizens to refrain from creating or passing ‘fake/hoax news’ about the COVID-19 situation that may trigger public panic since they will be ultimately identified arrested and charged in court.