Newly-installed Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar assured the public of the police’s full respect to human rights as it complies with the order of President Duterte to arrest those who are not wearing face mask amid the continuous threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Eleazar said the President’s order is a strong message that the national government is serious in implementing the minimum health safety standard protocols as part of the measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected more than one million Filipinos and claimed the lives of more than 18,000.
He added that the reduction of Covid-19 cases in the past days after the sudden upsurge of cases in March as reported by the Department of Health is another proof that strict quarantine measures are indeed working.
“I understand the concerns of some people regarding the arrest of those not wearing face masks but this is a needed measure to ensure compliance of the people to observe the minimum health safety standard protocol,” said Eleazar.
“I believe that most of the Filipinos are doing what needs to be done to protect themselves and their family, but there are people who refuse to follow instructions and who continue to violate rules. The President’s order is for these hard-headed people,” he added partly in Filipino.
To ensure compliance with policies on human rights, Eleazar ordered all PNP personnel to deal properly with the violators and to exercise maximum tolerance.
“We can arrest them but there is no need to punish them and more so, there is no ned to hurt them. If you hurt the violators, you will be answerable to me,” he said.
Eleazar explained that the penalties for violation of the minimum health safety protocols are already embodied in the local ordinances such as imposition of fine and community service, and these should be used to discipline the violators. SOVEREIGNPH