Gamboa tells cops: Observe maximum tolerance at quarantine checkpoints
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Tuesday reminded police officers to exercise maximum tolerance in manning quarantine checkpoints, as Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan were reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“Reminder ko lang sa mga kapulisan (My reminder to the police is) to exercise maximum tolerance and on the part of the public to please cooperate so we can meet halfway,” he said in a press briefing.
Gamboa said the PNP will issue “strict warning” to violators of the MECQ on the initial days of its implementation, adding that even the police will have to adjust again to the stricter quarantine setup.
Asked about how many days the “reprieve” for MECQ violators will last, Gamboa said: “Two or three days. ‘Wag niyo lang awayin ang pulis, kasi kung minsan ang pinafile natin, hindi na ‘yung quarantine protocols but ‘yung disobedience na.”
(Two or three days. Just don’t quarrel with the police. Because sometimes, we file complaints for disobedience instead of quarantine violations.)
He stressed that the police are only doing their job in enforcing quarantine guidelines, as he appealed for the public to follow rules under MECQ.
“So please don’t provoke us na file-an kayo ng disobedience (to file a case of disobedience against you),” he also said.
Sought for clarification, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told INQUIRER.net that the police will only exercise maximum tolerance but there could still be arrests “as the need arises or as situation comes.”
Maj. Gen. Emannuel Licup, head of the PNP Directorate for Operations, meanwhile, advised personnel of the municipal and city police stations to coordinate with their respective local government units on the facilities where quarantine violators can be detained.
He said police officers deployed in checkpoints can warn violators of minimum health protocols and give face masks to motorists who are not wearing protective equipment.
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, earlier said that the PNP will again set up checkpoints in the borders of cities and towns under the MECQ.
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