PNP asserts supervision over local checkpoints

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated on Thursday, March 26, that all quarantine control points must be supervised by uniformed policemen.

Major General Emmanuel Licup, PNP director for operations, said he has issued a memorandum ordering PNP unit commanders and chiefs of police to ensure that all quarantine control points established by city, municipal and barangay local governments are properly supervised by local PNP units.

Under the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), quarantine checkpoints shall be established by the Joint Task Force Coronavirus shield (JTF CV SHIELD) composed of PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection from national to municipal levels.

Earlier, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said they have received reports that some barangays were setting up checkpoints on their own.

He said confusion usually arises when barangay officials impose their own rules.

Among the guidelines observed in quarantine control points is the safe and unimpeded passage of food products, basic and essential commodities and authorized personnel categorized in the medical, agricultural, and industrial and utilities sectors.

The PNP noted that farmers, farm workers, fisherfolk and agribusiness personnel shall be exempted from home quarantine provided that one does not exhibit any one of the Covid-19 symptoms, the number of working farm personnel is at a minimum, and safety protocols are ensured and social distancing is observed in the workplace.

Meanwhile, JTF-CV Shield commander and PNP deputy director for operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said policemen manning the checkpoints may deny people who tend to walk towards their destination especially those coming from Manila going to their provinces.

“’Yung maglalakad hanggang Bicol o Quezon huwag na padaanin dahil hindi sila palalampasin. Kung sakaling makalusot sa inyo, makalusot sa Laguna, Quezon pagdating sa Bicol haharangin. Kawawa naman itong mga kababayan natin doon na haharangin kaya dito palang harangin nyo na,” he said.

“Kung makalusot man sila problema pagdating sa kanilang lugar dahil forcibly they will be quarantined at ang problema doon bago makarating sa kanilang pupuntahan sangkaterbang checkpoint o pagdurusa ang kanilang haharapin,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)