Metro Manila police director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar questions liquor ban violators at Camp Karingal in Quezon City yesterday.
Michael Varcas
300 liquor ban violators apprehended
(The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 300 individuals have been accosted for violating the election-related liquor ban, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said yesterday.

PNP spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said at least 121 people were taken into custody for drinking in public places.

Banac’s report, however, does not include the 185 persons who were taken to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) for the same offense.

Banac said a majority of the violations are in the Cordillera Administration Region with 42, followed by Central Visayas with 29 and Eastern Visayas with 19.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar urged the public to follow the liquor ban or face arrest. He added that they would not mind if their jails would be filled with drunkards.

“During the 48-hour liquor ban, drinking and selling liquor are prohibited. We are serious about this,” he said.

The liquor ban started at 12:01 a.m. yesterday and will last until 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Violators could face imprisonment of six years and may lose their right to run for public office as well as right to suffrage under the Omnibus Election Code.

Quezon City violators

Police officials yesterday presented the 185 individuals arrested by the 12 police stations in Quezon City in the first few hours of the liquor ban.

The Cubao police station arrested the most number of violators, with 72.

QCPD director Brigadier Gen. Joselito Esquivel reminded the public to strictly observe the liquor ban.

“Itong mga accomplishments natin ay bahagi ng pinaigting na seguridad para sa ligtas, maayos at mapayapang halalan… Pinapaalalahanan po natin ulit ang publiko na makiisa sa ating layunin (These accomplishments of ours are part of the tightened security for a safe, credible and peaceful election… We are reminding again the public to cooperate in this objective),” Esquivel said.

16,000 cops deployed

Some 16,000 policemen will be deployed to secure today’s elections, according to Eleazar.

“This is not just in polling centers or canvassing areas, but also to maintain our anti-criminality efforts,” Metro Manila’s top cop said.

“There’s no room to be complacent, the criminal elements might strike anytime, anywhere as long as they have opportunity,” he added.

The NCRPO continues to implement the gun ban and checkpoint operations all over Metro Manila until the last day of the election gun ban on June 13, according to Eleazar. He has also told his five district directors to “always ask directives from the Comelec” on possible security problems they would encounter in voting precincts.

“I have guided all NCRPO police officers to act in accordance with their mandate and conscience – to be above political affairs, to be fair, judicious and determined so that we can uphold the integrity of the elections,” he said.

“Arrest those who violate the Election Code, charge them and pursue their cases in court – that is my order to all our police officers. As such, I am requesting all candidates and stakeholders in this coming election to exercise prudence and fair play,” he added.

30 nabbed in Manila

In Manila, at least 30 persons were arrested for violating the liquor ban early yesterday morning, according to the Manila Police District.

MPD public information chief Lt. Col. Carlo Magno Manuel said 19 persons were separately arrested while drinking inside bars and on the streets of Binondo starting 1 a.m.

Elements of MPD Station 11 rounded up 15 persons inside the Riverside KTV Bar and Red Light KTV Bar, located along Muelle dela Industria in Binondo.

An hour later, another team from the same police station collared five men, including a barangay watchman, who were dinking at the corner of Muelle de Binondo and Tabora Streets.

The MPD said 11 persons were also nabbed in different areas in Tondo, Sampaloc and Santa Mesa since the ban took effect.

Those arrested were charged with violation of the Commission on Elections Resolution No. 10461, which carried a penalty of imprisonment for up to six years.

Meanwhile, the MPD said establishments being frequented by tourists have to request a liquor ban exemption from the Department of Tourism.

A bar owner along Mabini Street in Ermita said it was too late for them to seek a permit but would run their business anyway since they only cater to Australian clients.

Another bar along M.H. Del Pilar also in Ermita continued to operate because they have already secured a permit last week.

14 collared in Pampanga

Meanwhile, police arrested at least 14 persons, including two minors, for violating the liquor ban in Apalit, Pampanga yesterday.

Police Regional Office – 3 director Brig. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said that at about 3:30 a.m. yesterday, the Apalit Police force conducted mobile patrol along MacArthur Highway in the town’s Barangay Sulipan and noticed that Artline Comedy Bar was still operating despite the implementation of the 48-hour liquor ban.

Authorities asked Mayleen Meneses, the owner of the bar, for pertinent documents exempting the bar from the ban, but she failed to present any, according to Coronel. As a result, all customers, including two minors who were drinking together with the owner and the cashier, were apprehended and brought to the Apalit Police station for investigation.

The two minors were then turned over to the Apalit Municipal Social Welfare and Development for proper disposition while the other violators were subjected to alcohol tests, as appropriate cases for violation of the liquor ban were prepared against them. – With Emmanuel Tupas, Romina Cabrera, Non Alquitran, Rey Galupo, Raymund Catindig, Ric Sapnu

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