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Curfew hours

WITH the mushrooming number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, residents of Metropolitan Manila (MM) are being called upon to observe the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, starting today.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy thousands of its officers and men to enforce the “unified curfew hours” in the nation’s premier region as decreed by the Metro Manila Council.

PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, acknowledged as a “darling” of the press, said the deployment of additional cops aims to address the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Eleazar issued the deployment order in consultation with his mistah PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas, who is on leave after testing positive for the dreaded and deadly coronavirus.

Augmentation troops will come from the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), the Reactionary Standby Support Force (RSSF) and other PNP units, according to Eleazar, who is also chief of the PNP Administrative Support on COVID-19 Task Force.

All augmentation policemen will undergo pre-deployment briefing to reiterate existing policies, said Joint Task Force COVID Shield chief Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

At the same time, Eleazar reminded PNP personnel to always observe maximum tolerance, respect the people’s rights and avoid confrontation with the public.

But the PNP OIC also called on the people to avoid unnecessary confrontation and spare themselves from arrest by complying with the minimum health safety protocols.

The key word, he said, is respect. “If we know how to respect one another, I assure you of smooth curfew implementation,” said the soft-spoken and highly-respected Eleazar.

Indeed, democracy flourishes when the men and women in uniform and the Filipino people, including the ordinary citizens, work hand-in-hand, notably during trying times.