PNP chief: Public also responsible for violations at Manila Bay
A big crowd gathers as they check the "white sands" and watch the famous sunset of Manila Bay on Sunday.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
PNP chief: Public also responsible for violations at Manila Bay
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - September 21, 2020 - 1:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the general public should also share the blame for flocking to the Manila Baywalk to get to see the crushed dolomite shores over the weekend, the chief of the national police said Monday. 

This comes after Police Gen. Camilo Cascolan, PNP chief, ordered the removal of Police Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan, commander of Manila Police District Police Station 5, from his post for his failures in controlling the crowds that built up in the area over the weekend. 

Photos of the crowds should that social distancing was hardly observed by the crowds despite the general community quarantine.

“I’d like to be frank. It's not only the police who are at fault here. All of us should learn from this…you would probably tell us that this is probably the wrong thing to say, but the public should also think about where it went wrong. Our policeman would not have been relieved if we did the right thing,” Cascolan said.

"Let that be a lesson not only to the PNP but to all of us."

Over the weekend, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources opened to the public the Manila Bay coastline that was cleared of garbage and filled with crushed dolomite making it reminiscent of a beach shore.

READ: After bay rehab, focus shifts to garbage culture

Task force: Commander should have taken initiative

In a statement issued Sunday evening, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, the quarantine enforcers of the coronavirus task force, slammed Caramoan for what they said was his failure to carry out his duty as the crowds built up. 

Earlier, the task force also put up a Facebook page to receive complaints of quarantine violations. When a group of youths were caught in pictures drinking at a birthday party, for instance, the JTF CV Shield took action and arrested all 16 of them

No arrests were made during the government-sponsored bay "opening," however. The weekend's mass gathering for some reason did not receive the same treatment as earlier protests against the controversial anti-terror law earlier in the quarantine and during the president's State of the Nation Address. 

READ: Students allege harassment, procedural violations in Iligan City protest arrests | SONA mass protests: PNP warns of arrests

"As the immediate Area Commander, Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caramoan should have taken the initiative in planning and implementing strict security and health safety measures for the opening of the cleaned and beautified portion of the Manila Bay, popularly known as the Manila Bay White Sand Baywalk, to the public. Caramoan could have prevented the quarantine protocol violations at the Manila Bay if there was prior planning and regular monitoring of the situation in the area," the task force's statement said. 

"Clearly, he also failed to comply with the JTF COVID Shield order which was coordinated with the Chief, PNP for all police commanders to monitor and immediately take action on violations of the quarantine protocols that are going viral in the social media," it also said. 
 

JOINT TASK FORCE COVID SHIELD MANILA BAY NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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