PNP says no changes in enforcement under MECQ

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
PNP says no changes in enforcement under MECQ
Bumper-to-bumper traffic along Marcos Highway at the boundary of Marikina and Antipolo cities in Rizal as police flag down motorists on the first day of the reimplementation of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces on Monday, March 29, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — With the modified enhanced community quarantine announced sans clear guidelines, the Philippine National Police is sticking to what it has been doing until further notice, it said Sunday. 

"Nothing is going to change in our checkpoints. The usual ECQ and MECQ violations are not wearing face shields and masks, mass gathering, physical distancing, and provisions of RA 11332. That's it. Whatever the violations, the chief has since directed our commanders in the NCR Plus bubble not to arrest the violators," Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana told Philstar.com in Filipino in a text message. 

RA 11332 is the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, a law that police have often used to arrest people over supposed violations.

This comes after the government's coronavirus task force opted to revert Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces to a more relaxed Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine on Sunday afternoon. 

To recall, more than 9,000 police personnel have been deployed to man the exactly 1,106 quarantine control points in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal to implement health protocols.

According to Usana, the same marching orders for police remain, including: 

  • Essential travelers will be allowed 100%
  • Non-essential travelers may be limited to a certain percentage depending on establishments, but not more than 50%
  • Curfew hours and police checkpoints shall remain in place
  • Compliance with minimum public health standards shall be maintained at all times
  • Malls will be allowed to open but only for essential and other allowed store operations
  • Mass gathering still not allowed.

Asked about changes to the uniform curfew, Usana said that deployed forces would continue to enforce the 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until further notice.

"If one commits production of fake RT-PCR results or in possession of fake results in his name, he will be arrested for violation and falsification of public documents and/or Republic Act No. 11332," Usana also said. 

PNP data show that more than 37,000 in the so-called NCR+ bubble have either been warned, fined or subject to community service for supposed quarantine violations since March 29. 

Over 14,000 have also been accosted for claiming to be authorized persons outside residences without showing proof. Almost 10,000 have also been denied entry into the bubble. 

Earlier Sunday, the Department of Health logged 11,681 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national caseload to 864,868. Of which, 145,519 are active cases. 

Exactly 390 days have passed since the first ECQ was hoisted, and the Philippines is still under the world's longest quarantine. 

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