PNP threatens ‘massive arrest’ if quarantine violations persist
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has threatened a “massive arrest” if quarantine violations continue amid growing coronavirus cases in the country.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said he has ordered the National Capital Region (NCR) regional police director to look for detention facilities of people caught violating the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine measures.
“I also required the regional director of NCR to prepare per district kung saan ilalagay itong mga taong mahuhuli. And then mag-reserve din siya doon sa Bicutan. So all of these things are being prepared because we expect massive arrest kung hindi talaga susunod yung mga tao,” Gamboa said in an interview over dzMM.
(I also required the regional director of NCR to prepare per district a facility where to put those who will be caught. And I asked him to reserve some space in Bicutan. So all of these things are being prepared because we expect massive arrest if the people will continue to disobey.)
From March 17 to April 19, about 133,000 people were found violating the strict quarantine guidelines, Gamboa said.
“As a matter of fact, yung iba dito talagang finile-an ng kaso, may inquest, may regular filing, 30,000 of them,” he said.
(As a matter of fact, some of them were filed with charges, there’s inquest and regular filing, about 30,000 of them.)
Should there be a “martial law-like” implementation of the quarantine rules as earlier mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte, Gamboa said it meant no warnings will be made before arrests are made.
“Ang emphasis naman doon is implementation talaga ng rules. Pero pag sinabi namang martial law, siguro the President would like to emphasize na we really make some arrests. Dito kase sa nirereport kong 130,000, around 96,000 were just warned,” Gamboa said.
(The emphasis there is the implementation of rules. When you say martial law, the President perhaps would like to emphasize that we need to make some arrests because of the 130,000 violators, around 96,000 were simply warned.)
Gamboa said violators could be charged based on the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Republic Act No. 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” or the Revised Penal Code.
“Siguro magpakita dapat ang publiko na mag-behave sila para hindi ito matuloy. Kasi kung ito ay matutuloy, it will really be a full implementation of the law. Wala na tayong warning, diretso na tayo sa aresto,” Gamboa said.
(The public should behave to stop this implementation. If this will continue, it will really be a full implementation of the law. We won’t have a warning, we will arrest immediately.)
The President has warned he would order the military and police to enforce “martial law-like” lockdown measures as violators of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) continue to rise.
As of Sunday, there were 6,259 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. Of the number, 409 have died and 572 have recovered.
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