MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday reminded all police officers to always abide by local quarantine protocols.
PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, made this remark after Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora has apologized to him for breaching protocols when they entered the city on Friday.
Gamboa said he already contacted Magalong and apologized over the actions of accompanying policemen that were in contrast to quarantine guidelines.
“Well, based sa revelation na nakita ko lang din sa post ni (that I saw from the post of) Mayor Magalong, ang sabi doon na ‘yung pulis ang nakiusap (the police requested) or who facilitated na lumagpas sila sa (that they pass the) checkpoint but we are investigating. As a matter of fact, nabasa ko rin (I also read) that (retired) Gen. Magalong is even charging members of the police force just to emphasize the point and I personally texted him, I personally apologized also if there are actuations of the PNP that are not or contradictory to their quarantine protocols,” Gamboa told reporters when sought for a comment.
Gamboa said he has ordered the Directorate for Operations to remind all policemen to strictly observe all quarantine protocols, regardless of where they are assigned.
“We all know that the burden of controlling the spread of the virus is upon the shoulders of the LGU and of course, their interest is to protect their constituents. This is why I encourage all police officers in whatever capacity, if you are confronted with local quarantine protocols, then we should abide by it,” he added.
Gamboa said he plans to make rounds in every region but has yet to ask regional directors regarding the quarantine protocols in their respective areas.
Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, has already ordered the relief of five San Juan cops, namely Master Sgt. Ricardo Interno, Staff Sgt. Joel Pascua, Staff Sgt. Christian Manlapaz, Staff Sgt. Ludy Constantino, and Cpl. Marxist Garcia, from their posts over the incident.
Sinas said he ordered the transfer of the five to the NCRPO’s Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit pending investigation.
“It’s the regional IAS (Internal Affairs Service) ang nautusan (who was ordered), the directive came from the DCA (Deputy Chief for Administration). As to the chief of police, hindi siya na-relieve (he is not relieved). I will confer with the Chief PNP kung ano ang appropriate kasi kasama rin po siya sa pinage-explain ng (on what the appropriate action will be because he is among those who were asked to explain by the) IAS. We have yet to come up with recommendations as to whether to relieve him or not,” Sinas said during a press conference.
The involved cops were already ordered to submit their explanation about the incident, he said.
“I will not condone any wrongdoing of our police officers in the implementation of the community quarantine protocols, if held responsible. We, as law enforcers, are bound to respect the existing rules and regulations anywhere in the Philippines. The safety of the people remains as our top priority in this trying times,” said Sinas, who himself is facing charges for alleged breach in health protocols amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based on the report, the cops accompanied Zamora on June 5, and allegedly ignored a standard border protection measure prescribed in Baguio City on the way to the Baguio Country Club.
The Regional Internal Affairs Service of the Police Regional Office Cordillera has already coordinated with its counterpart in the NCRPO for the conduct of an investigation into the incident. (PNA)