OVER 682,000 quarantine violators in the country have been apprehended by the Philippine National Police from March 16, 2020 to date with at least 48,000 of them detained and charged in court, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne R. Binag said yesterday.
Binag, also the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations said that from last March 16 up to last Sunday, a total of 682,375 individuals have been arrested by PNP agents amid their strict enforce of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and the General Community Quarantine or Enhanced GCQ.
PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has made it mandatory for all individuals entering places of convergence as well as shopping malls to properly wear their face masks and face shields or be accosted by the police.
Gen. Sinas said he has also required all police personnel to properly wear their face masks and face shields each time they leave their office or while talking with another person as part of their precautionary measure against the killer COVID-19 virus.
Lt. Gen. Binag said that of the total number of quarantine violators apprehended, 47,906 were detained and inquested before local prosecutor’s offices while 112,234 were released for regular filing of charges in court.
Binag also said that from July 10 to last Saturday, police have also accosted over 200,000 persons for violating the ban on back-riding during the ECQ period.
Of the total, 21,110 were given warnings they would be apprehended and issued citation tickets on their next offense; 155,955 were given actual citations while 25,038 were apprehended.
Lt. Gen. Binag said that another 2,715 individuals were accosted for direct assault; 145 for indirect assault and 16,835 for resistance and disobedience to an agent of a person in authority. These were the people who were accosted for not wearing face masks or face shields, not observing social distancing, violating curfew hours and those who resented questions by authorities on why they have no travel authority or why they are outside their homes when they are not Authorized Persons Outside of Residence.
The official said that to date, police have also arrested 117 individuals for possession of fake/falsified RT-PCR/Antigen test result and fake travel authority or fake identification cards.
Binag said that of the total, 7 including a female police officer from the PNP Crime Laboratory were arrested for presenting fake or falsified swab test results; 2 for having fake Inter-Agency Task Force IDs; 14 for having fake travel authority; and 5 for presenting fake government and private organization’s identification cards.
‘We continue to make our appeal for the public to strictly follow minimum health protocols and approach the nearest police station for Travel Authority para maayos ang coordination ng lahat,” Binag said.
He said that the most common quarantine violations on border checkpoints and patrols are violation of Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code or direct assault, Article 151 of the RPC or resistance and disobedience to persons in authority; and violation of Republic Act 11132 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern; and violation of RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.