Police, public liable for Manila Bay health protocol violations — PNP chief
MANILA, Philippines — The police should not be solely blamed for the crowding in and around Manila Bay’s stretch of white sand beach where health protocols to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were violated, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said Monday.
“I’d like to be frank. Hindi lang po pulis ang may kasalanan dito (It’s not just the fault of the police),” Cascolan said in a press briefing.
“Dapat matuto tayo. Sa amin pong kapulisan (As far as the police force is concerned), we always follow the rule of law and when we follow the rule of law we have no choice. It’s command responsibility and I emphasize command responsibility during my first speeches,” he added.
The artificial “white sand beach” in Manila Bay, made from crushed dolomite, drew a large crowd over the weekend when it was opened to the public.
Viral photos and videos showed visitors queueing almost side by side along Roxas Boulevard, in violation of physical distancing and quarantine rules imposed prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ermita police station commander Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan was later relieved from his post over his alleged failure to enforce COVID-19 protocols in the area.
“Mahirap po talaga sa mga kapulisan pero wala po kaming magagawa. Kailangan matuto po ang komunidad sa ginawa po namin. Siguro naman po sasabihin niyo sa amin na mali ata’ yun, pero dapat isipin niyo saan din kayo nagkamali. Dapat hindi narelieve ‘yung aming kapulisan kung ginawa namin ang tama, hindi po ba?” Cascolan said.
(It is really hard on the part of the police but we could not do anything. The community needs to learn from what we did. Maybe you will tell us we are wrong, but think also about your mistake too. Our police officer should not have been relieved if we did what was right.)
He added that the relief of Caramoan should not just be a lesson to police commanders on the ground but also to the public.
“Let that be a lesson not only to the PNP but to all of us. Hindi lang po laban ng pulis itong COVID. Laban po ito ng lahat. Siguro mas maganda mas matuturuan din natin ang mga kababayan para gumawa ng tama,” he said.
(Let that be a lesson not only to the PNP but to all of us. COVID-19 is not just the crusade of the police. It is everyone’s. Maybe it would be better if we can also teach our countrymen of doing what is right.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.