PNP officer faces probe for bypassing Borongan City quarantine checkpoint
This Google Maps image shows Boronga City, Eastern Samar
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PNP officer faces probe for bypassing Borongan City quarantine checkpoint
Bella Perez-Rubio ( - June 18, 2020 - 4:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Another police officer has reportedly violated quarantine rules.

Police Lt. Col. Joel Ana of the police Highway Patrol Group last Saturday bypassed a quarantine checkpoint in Borongan, Eastern Samar, according to the city's mayor.

"For us from Borongan, it is very unfortunate and insulting because we've been working together since Day One to follow protocol standards enforced in the city for everyone who enters and leaves," the city's mayor Jose Agda told ABS-CBN in Filipino.

Agda added that the city's residents feel slighted by the incident, given the sacrifices they have made to comply with quarantine rules.

The mayor said he received word on June 13 that a "VIP" had bypassed the city's checkpoint. The person in question was in a van accompanied by escort vehicles.

Agda then asked the city's police chief to investigate the incident and was told the following morning that it was Ana who was in the car.

The mayor said the city's legal team is studying the incident.

"Incidents like this are embarrassing and unfair to those from Borongan because they expect those in government to abide by the law. We can only defeat this pandemic if everyone cooperates," Agda said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He added that he knows Ana personally but has yet to receive an apology from him.

Investigation under way

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield commander, on Thursday told ABS-CBN that both the HPG and the Eastern Samar Police Provincial Office are investigating the incident.

He confirmed that Ana is assigned to the HPG and was on the way home to Borongan City after delivering guns in Tacloban.

He added that Ana submitted a report regarding the incident, saying he and his convoy slowed down but were not pulled over.

However, Eleazar said that when traffic permits it, all vehicles must be inspected under modified checkpoint rules. Random inspections are only permitted when it is necessary to prevent traffic jams in urban areas.

Five other police officers earlier this month violated Baguio checkpoint rules along with San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora who they were escorting.

They were sacked by Metro Manila Police Chief Debold Sinas for the incident.

Sinas himself, along with 18 other officers, had a criminal complaint filed against him for a birthday party held during May 8 which violated quarantine rules.

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