Eleazar orders relief of QCPD Talipapa station commander
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday ordered the administrative relief of Quezon City Police Station 3 commander after hundreds of police officers who were still waiting for the results of their COVID-19 swab tests were deployed to secure the State of the Nation Address (Sona) last Monday.
Of the 118 personnel from the Talipapa police station who were deployed for the Sona protests in Quezon City, 51 later learned that they tested positive for COVID-19.
“In view of the apparent breach of protocol when most of these PNP personnel were deployed for Sona duties even if they were still waiting for their RT-PCR results, I have already ordered the administrative relief of the Station Commander, Police Station 3 of the QCPD, for command responsibility,” Eleazar said in a statement.
The 118 police personnel from the Talipapa police station were tested for COVID-19 by the Quezon City government on July 23 (Friday) but only got their results on Tuesday, after Monday’s SONA, according to Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Brig. Gen. Antonio Yarra.
The 51 police officers who were deployed for the Sona are among the 82 QCPD personnel who tested positive for the virus after the city’s free routine testing of its front liners.
“We immediately conducted focused testing on all other QCPD personnel in order to identify, isolate and provide necessary medical assistance for all those who may have been infected by the virus,” he noted.
Eleazar said they are waiting for the swab test results of 167 police personnel who are found to be the close contacts of the 82 policemen based on contact tracing which started Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Eleazar also slammed the “unnecessary and insensitive comments” on social media about the incident.
“Hindi makatwiran at hindi makatao na hamakin pa ang ating kapulisan sa kabila ng kanilang sinapit dahil halos lahat ng mga pulis na tinamaan ng COVID ay dahil naman sa pagtupad ng kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin,” he said.
(It is not reasonable to blame our police officers for the incident because almost all of the officers who have contracted COVID became infected in the performance of their sworn duty.)
“Sila ay may mga pamilyang nag-aalala din at higit sa lahat, sila ay kapwa natin Pilipino, kaya nakikiusap tayo na maging sensitibo tayo sa ating mga binibitawang salita,” he added.
(They too have families that worry about them. They are fellow Filipinos. I am appealing to the public to be sensitive about our comments.)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
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.