Gamboa: Checkpoints to remain under GCQ

CHECKPOINTS will remain in Metro Manila and other parts of the country to ensure that strict quarantine rules under the General Community Quarantine like social distancing and wearing of masks by the public will be fully enforced to prevent the further spread of COVID-19  apart from keeping criminals on the run, Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said yesterday.

The PNP chief said their statistics showed that since the Enhanced Community Quarantine was fully implemented in the National Capital Region and other parts of the country last March 16, there has been a great reduction in eight focused crimes.

He particularly cited incidents of theft and robbery which went down by around 60 percent and cases of motor vehicle and motorcycle theft which were reduced by around 80 percent since last March compared to the same period last year.

Gen. Gamboa said apart from the high presence of uniformed policemen manning Quarantine Control Points in major roads and other thoroughfares, they also believe the round-the-clock presence of people inside their homes largely contributed to the reduction of cases of theft and robbery and motor vehicle and motorcycle theft.

“Ang mga tao nasa bahay nila palagi kaya bumaba ang theft and robbery cases. We should learn from it. Dapat wag nating pabayaan ang bahay natin na walang nagbabantay. Ganon din sa motor vehicle and motorcycle theft na halos 80 percent ang ibinaba dahil nakatingin ang mga tao sa mga sasakyan nila,” he said.

The PNP chief said the round-the-clock presence of the public inside their homes during the ECQ period is a key factor behind the major crime reduction.

PNP Director for Operations, Major Gen. Emmanuel Luis D. Licup said that they won’t order the removal of checkpoints in the borders of Metro Manila. However, he explained that fixed checkpoints’ within a particular city or municipality may be removed based on the assessment of the ground commanders under the GCQ policy.

Licup said that policemen manning these QCPs will inspect motor vehicles to see it its occupants are complying with the social distancing rules and wearing face masks.

The PNP operations chief said that police will also ensure that guidelines issued by the Department of Transport on public transport will be fully implemented. He said police will inspect public utility vehicles including bases, TNVS and tricycles if they are complying with the 50 percent reduction in capacity ordered by the DoTR.

NCRPO director, Major General Debold M. Sinas, said he has ordered all Metro Manila police commanders to ensure that social distancing and wearing of face masks will be strictly observed in shopping malls, airports, train stations and other commercial establishments in their jurisdiction as part of their effort to help prevent a 2nd wave of COVID-19 in the metropolis.

Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar had also recommended that only individuals with quarantine pass should be allowed entry into malls as part of their effort that these establishments will not be the ‘ground zero’ of new wave of infection during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine period.

Eleazar said that vehicle drivers and passengers violating quarantine protocols  will be accosted by agents of the PNP Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG)  who are now conducting random inspection of motorists to check violations of the modified and general community quarantine.