Caloocan cops to help in contact tracing after city hostage incident
MANILA, Philippines — The Caloocan City Police Station has been ordered to help in contact tracing efforts following a hostage crisis incident in the city that drew large crowds and could have been a be COVID-19 super spreader, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said.
Eleazar stressed that the Caloocan police will coordinate specifically with Barangay 14 in tracking down those who watched the hostage-taking incident unfold near the C-3 Road and Dagat-Dagatan Avenue.
According to the PNP chief, he has already issued a memorandum reminding police officers of the protocols that should be followed during hostage-taking incidents, especially about crowd control.
“Makikipagtulungan ang local police sa Caloocan City government, partikular ang Barangay 14, para hagilapin ang mga nagsiksikan at nakiusyoso sa hostage-taking na naganap nitong nakalipas na Sabado,” Eleazar said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Nagpababa na ako ng memorandum na nagpapa-alala sa ating kapulisan ng mga protocol na dapat sundin on hostage-taking incidents and other similar cases particularly on crowd control. Kasabay nito ang aking kautusan sa Caloocan City Police na tumulong sa contact-tracing effort ng kanilang lokal na pamalahaan,” he explained.
On Friday, police responded to reports that a 32-year-old man held a 15-year-old boy hostage. While the suspect was eventually arrested with the victim unharmed, videos posted on social media showed huge crowds gathered to watch the hostage drama amid the strict COVID-19 quarantine protocols being enforced in Metro Manila.
This latest reminder is necessary, Eleazar said, as people would usually take photos and videos of an event or an incident to inform other people.
“Likas sa tao ang pagiging usisero lalo na sa panahon ngayon na halos lahat ay gustong makibahagi sa mga ganitong pangyayari gamit ang smart phones at social media kaya nararapat lamang na maging alerto ang ating kapulisan tungkol dito lalo na may kinakaharap tayong pandemya,” he said.
“Malaking tulong ang kooperasyon ng mamayan sa mga ganitong sitwasyon,” he added.
The Caloocan police however still got Eleazar’s praise as the victim was rescued with the suspect now facing charges.
“Ganunpaman, pinapapurihan ko ang ating mga pulis sa maayos na pagresolba ng insidenteng ito,” Eleazar noted.
Despite the downgrading of the quarantine status, Metro Manila and other parts of the country are still facing a grave problem in terms of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the country logged 13,827 new COVID-19 cases, leading to an active infection count of 145,562.
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