PNP wonât call for timeout
A Manila Police District officer mans a checkpoint along Roxas Boulevard yesterday as the MECQ was implemented in Metro Manila.
Edd Gumban
PNP won’t call for timeout
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa has ordered an evaluation of health workers within the PNP, but ruled out calling for a timeout similar to the appeal made by medical frontliners as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical groups requested for the reimposition of stricter lockdown measures in Metro Manila amid the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, which overwhelmed public and private hospitals.

President Duterte heeded their call and imposed modified enhanced community quarantine for 15 days in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

To address the problem, Gamboa ordered an evaluation of doctors and other medical personnel taking care of sick police personnel.

But he said asking the President for a timeout for PNP medical workers and police officers implementing quarantine guidelines is out of the question.

“We are not authorized to call for a timeout in the PNP. We have to continue,” Gamboa said.

With around 209,000 personnel, Gamboa said they have enough manpower to carry out their tasks.

Gamboa said they would manage the deployment of police officers to give their personnel time to rest.

He asked PNP doctors and other health workers to remain focused on their duties of taking care of their sick colleagues.

“We are trained to pursue our duties primarily, but thinking of yourself should only be secondary. What should be top of mind is duty,” Gamboa said.

He made the statement after some PNP medical frontliners told The STAR that they are nearing their breaking point and already exhausted because of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the police force.

A total of 2,283 police personnel have been infected with COVID-19. Of the figure, 11 have died while 1,251 or 54.79 percent have recovered.

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