By the SovereignPH.com Staff
CEBU CITY – The increased presence of soldiers and police commandos in this city is intended to enforce enhanced community quarantine and not of any form of “militarization.”
This was the assurance made by Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar to residents of Cebu City Saturday amid the deployment of Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and soldiers in Cebu City.
The commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid said the deployment of government troopers is a tried-and-tested formula in the enforcement of the quarantine rules.
“The deployment of police commandos and soldiers here in Cebu City is not militarization as some people would describe it, and therefore, is not a wrong approach,” Eleazar said.
Presence of the soldiers and police commandos Eleazar said could help contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The Queen City of the south is considered by the Department of Health (DoH) as a Covid “hot spot” as cases of the killer virus surged in the past weeks.
In Metro Manila, the presence of soldiers and SAF commandos was also “proven effective” in reducing the number of quarantine violators in NCR and some parts of Luzon, when such areas were still under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Eleazar said.
Before their deployment, Eleazar said, daily quarantine violators in Luzon were in the vicinity of 2,000 to 3,000.
But the daily number of quarantine violators in April dropped to “a little” over 1,000 a few days after the SAF and soldiers were deployed Eleazar explained.
The number dipped further 1,000 under and never went up after the deployment of both commandos and soldiers Eleazar added.
“We are not your enemy. We are on the same side in fighting the real enemy which is the coronavirus,” Eleazar said adding the deployment was necessary in ensuring that people would stay at home and avoid “unnecessary travels.”
The police official also urged the people to follow the health protocols to help the SAF and soldiers in implementing the rules.
Eleazar also stressed that the SAF commandos and soldiers would respect the rights of the people.
“The strong presence of policemen and soldiers here is neither meant to scare the people of Cebu City nor curtail their rights. We are here because it is necessary, we are here to help, we are here to protect as many people of Cebu City, and we are here to strengthen our frontline against the spread of Covid-19,” said Eleazar.
Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said over 2,000 quarantine violators have been apprehended in Cebu City as of June 21. (ia/SovereignPH.com)