MANILA, Philippines – Five policemen from San Juan City who allegedly disregarded the health and safety protocols in Baguio City amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have been ordered relieved from their posts, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said on Monday.
NCRPO chief Police Major General Debold Sinas said the five policemen will temporarily stay at the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit in Camp Bagong Diwa pending investigation into the incident.
Sinas said the cops have been ordered to submit their explanation about the incident in the probe that will be conducted by the regional Internal Affairs Service.
The five cops were part of the entourage of San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora who allegedly snubbed a checkpoint and violated the regulatory mechanism of quarantine check and triage examination at the Naguilian facility last Friday.
Zamora’s convoy also allegedly failed to present a medical health clearance when asked at the Baguio Country Club.
In a separate press briefing, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa said they are also probing whether the said cops violated the protocols in securing an authorization to escort a VIP as only two police officers are allowed to be assigned as permanent VIP security.
“National kami in nature and there are certain protocols in securing individuals, yung sa PSPG is more on permanent security yun. But for case to case basis, a letter order could suffice to secure VIP travel, proper authority should be issued,” Gamboa explained.
The PNP chief also said he has yet to decide on whether San Juan City Police chief Jaime Santos will also be ordered relieved regarding the incident.
“Hindi naman kasama si chief of police sa convoy… I will not give my decision because I have to hear kung ano ang ginawa niya after that. In the course of investigation, ano yung degree ng liability niya,” he said.
The PNP chief added that he already talked to Magalong and apologized over the actions of policemen involved.
He said all police personnel have been told to always abide by local quarantine protocols. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
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