14 internet cable men held for breaking COVID-19 protocol

SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija -- Some 14 internet cable workers of an alleged sub-contracting firm from Metro Manila were rounded up here on Tuesday after they were caught installing cable wires without the required permit from the local government unit and also for coming to this town without the needed travel documents required as a standard health safety protocol against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Town police head Major Roderick N. Corpuz said those nabbed were cable installers of sub-contractor firm named RSM Cable Network with office address at Bgy. Mariana, New Manila, Quezon City.

The group was allegedly renting an apartment in Bgy. San Mariano while doing the project works in this town, it was learned.

Arrested were Judy Camilon, 24; Alvin Ginoguin, 31; Junrey Makilang, 23, all of Bgy. San Juan, Sta. Felipe, Leyte; Ronelito Tagolino, 31; Jeffrey Alburo, 28; Ronel Mescriola, 32; all of Bgy. Lonoy, Carangga, Leyte; Anastacio Taratara, 28; Jhay Ar Monsanto, 27; Loidmar Monsanto, 32; Engie Mar Monsanto, all of Bgy. Calubasanhan, Pola, Oriental Mindoro; William Magbawa, 25; of Bgy. 187, Tondo, Manila; Marlon Lamorena, 23, of Bgy. Pitombayog, Mayantoc, Tarlac; Dennis Galapon, 38, of Bgy. Sulipa, Gerona, Tarlac, and Rodrigo Fabian Jr., 35, of Bgy. Ungot, Mayantoc, Tarlac.

Corpuz said the firm's project manager-owner identified as Ronald Sanchez Madrillos evaded arrest.

The suspects were spotted by municipal budget officer Armando Cruz doing installation works in Bgy. Julo on his way to work at 8 a.m. Cruz said he initially asked who they were and under what authority were they installing the said project.

"Sinita ko sila kung mayroon silang construction permit mula sa munisipyo at kung dayo sila nasaan ang kanilang travel pass, eh hindi nila sinunod ang protocol, walang maipakita na permit mula sa mayor's office pati na ng travel pass o health certificate dahil nga sa COVID-19 pandemic," Cruz told this reporter yesterday.

The municipal budget officer then alerted Mayor Arvin C. Salonga and municipal engineer Leonor E. Balcos about the incident with Balcos seeking immediate police assistance to put the cable men for questioning and verification.

Corpuz said his probers found out that the suspects had no construction permit issued by the mayor's office. Also they did not possess any travel authority despite some of them came from other regions which was a clear violation of the safety protocols being implemented due to the pandemic.

The arrested suspects were slapped with violations of P.D. 1096 or Building Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 11332 before the provincial prosecutor's office.