Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, said they had to revert to their previous policy after records show that 42,826 persons were apprehended in Luzon alone for violating curfew hours during the first 11 days of quarantine.
Miguel De Guzman
PNP resumes arrest of curfew violators
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A day after saying it will no longer arrest curfew violators, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reversed its stance, citing the continued rise in the number of offenders during the enhanced community quarantine.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, said they had to revert to their previous policy after records show that 42,826 persons were apprehended in Luzon alone for violating curfew hours during the first 11 days of quarantine.

Of the number, 33,243 were reported in Luzon, with 12,094 in Metro Manila alone. The remaining 9,583 are either in Visayas or Mindanao.

“The increasing number of curfew violators and the activation of the online inquest proceedings of the Department of Justice (DOJ) has prompted the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield to reconsider its decision not to arrest and detain the violators of home quarantine rules,” Eleazar said in a statement.

He added that local government units also appealed to the PNP not to be lenient on curfew violators as doing so would lead to more people leaving their homes.

Allowing curfew violators to continue with their ways will not only defeat the purpose of the quarantine – which is to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – but also puts health workers and other frontliners at risk, he pointed out.

Eleazar said those that will be arrested for violating the curfew hours would be taken to the nearest police station for investigation and filing of cases. The PNP will use the DOJ’s e-inquest project which allows the conduct of virtual inquest proceedings either online or electronically.

The PNP will coordinate with local officials for the identification of temporary detention centers where social distancing can be imposed on violators who will be held for 12 hours.

Eleazar cautioned policemen against imposing physical punishment on violators, warning them that they could be slapped with administrative sanctions.

CURFEW VIOLATORS
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