HERE’S a piece of unsolicited advice to the government.
Stop fielding members of the military, police or even the barangays to man checkpoints unless they have adequate protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
I’m not talking about carrying long firearms or dressing up in fatigues. Both are no good against an invisible enemy.
By the way, they must also be reminded that they are not dealing with criminals, insurgents or even terrorists. The people they accost on the streets are regular folks who are trying to eke a living during this health crisis. Okay, so there may be a few who are out there for a joyride or whatnot, but the majority do have a reason for risking their lives outdoors.
Oh, and make sure to deploy persons with a modicum of intelligence.
There are some who chuck common sense out of the window. You know the type. People who refuse to see reason because this was not in the manual or it was not discussed during their training. That is, if they ever underwent training.
I mean, it just doesn’t make sense, does it?
This government is fighting a pandemic, which basically means it is up against a disease that affects “an exceptionally high proportion of the population,” and yet it has men and women, but mostly men, who stop pedestrians and motorists and engage them.
Yes, engage them.
On one occasion on M.J. Cuenco in Barangay Tejero in Cebu City, I saw one policeman – he looked like a policeman -- order a motorcycle driver to open his seat while looking over the latter’s papers.
First of all, it was clear the driver had just come from the market from the purchases he was carrying. Okay, so maybe the driver had violated the number coding or other road laws, which, by the way, still apply during community quarantine, but was it necessary to flag him? Or to be in close contact with someone whom the man in uniform had never met before?
Whatever happened to social distancing? And why was the man in uniform and his companions not wearing personal protective equipment?
And no, face masks don’t suffice.
I cringe at the thought of our soldiers and our policemen – never mind the barangay tanods many of whom I believe are just power-tripping–out there, wearing inadequate protection.
But I have to admit, their presence is necessary. Someone has to enforce the law and maintain the order because, unfortunately, there are members of the public who take advantage of the situation.