THE police stations in Cebu City barangays with a high number of Covid-19 cases reportedly made only a few apprehensions of individuals who had violated minimum health protocols.
This prompted Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Col. Josefino Ligan to order all the 11 station commanders not to loosen up on their round-the-clock patrols, Oplan Bulabog (stir up) and Oplan Puyo (stay put), said Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, deputy chief for operation, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.
As of Aug. 23, Cebu City had 4,664 active Covid-19 cases, according to the Department of Health 7 daily case bulletin.
Parilla noticed that the number of Covid-19 cases in barangays where the police had rounded up several violators was low.
The 10 barangays with a high number of Covid-19 cases are Guadalupe, Tisa, Lahug, Talamban, Punta Princesa, Capitol Site, Camputhaw, Labangon, Mabolo and Apas.
Guadalupe is under Police Station 9; Tisa, Labangon and Punta Princesa are under Police Station 10; Lahug, Mabolo and Apas are under Police Station 4; Talamban is under Police Station 8; and Capitol Site and Camputhaw are under Police Station 2.
The CCPO apprehended 5,583 individuals during its Oplan Bulabog operations from Aug. 3 to 21, during which the police officers patrolled the main thoroughfares and interior parts of barangays to collar individuals who flouted protocols by not wearing masks, neglecting social distancing and violating curfew. The Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team, a civilian group, often accompanied the police in implementing Oplan Bulabog, which is the name for the CCPO’s campaign against violators of health protocols.
“Oplan Puyo 8-15-31” is the term used by then Acting Mayor Michael Rama to encapsulate the restrictions he stipulated in his Executive Order No. 137, which is implemented while Cebu City is under modified enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 15 to 31. The CCPO chief is the task force head in implementing Oplan Puyo.
Of all the 11 police stations in Cebu City, two police stations scored the most number of arrests—Police Station 5 (708 arrests) and Police Station 6 (634 arrests). The barangays under Police Station 5 are Ermita, Kalubihan and Pahina Central, while the barangays under Police Station 6 are Calamba, Pahina San Nicolas, Pasil, San Nicolas Central, Sawang Calero and Suba.
The barangays under the two police stations are in the urban area of Cebu City and are densely populated, but their Covid-19 cases were low.
This shows that if the residents see police officers strictly implementing protocols, they would not dare go outside their houses without a reason because they might get caught and pay a P1,000 fine, according to Parilla.
The apprehended individuals are turned over to two holding areas in Barangays Labangon and Cogon Ramos run by Cebu City’s Probe team.
Parilla said the CCPO does not collect fines from violators. A violator’s relative pays the fine at the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office; after doing so, the relative must present the receipt to the Probe team to secure the violator’s release from the holding area.
Aside from paying a fine, an apprehended violator must undergo an hour of lecture on health protocols that must be followed to slow down the transmission of Covid-19. (KAL)