PNP to send 40,000 cops in case of Metro Manila lockdown

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) assures to provide security in case  a lockdown in Metro Manila is imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

PNP Chief Police General Archie Gamboa said they are ready to deploy 38,000 cops to ensure that peace and order is maintained in the face of the health crisis.

“We will be utilizing the NCRPO, (it’s) strength of around 28,000,” Gamboa said.

“Here in Camp Crame, it is around 10,000 so more or less we have 30,000 to 40,000 personnel to  utilize in case this thing would come up,” he added.

Gamboa stressed, a lockdown of a particular city should get a green light from the Department of Health (DOH), the authority in handling health situation across the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently turned down the proposal to place the entire Metro Manila on lockdown arguing that the situation is still under control though he declared class suspension in all of Metro Manila schools until Saturday (March 14).

Since school children are supposedly at home, the PNP assured to assist mall security personnel to bar students from entering malls and Internet cafés where they could possibly contract the virus.

“The president required us to convince students to stay at home. (But of course,) in as much as we can do, we cannot restrain (them),” Gamboa explained.

“So far, nobody is resisting because it’s everybody’s concern,” he added.

Regular activities at Camp Crame have been postponed such as Pulisteniks and Zumba sessions where crowd of police personnel join.

The PNP also mulls on changing its routine flag ceremony on Mondays as a measure against the spread of COVID-19.

“(We might suspend the conduct of) pass in review and all of these things are being done by the Philippine National Police just to prevent also contamination or infection if there’s any,” the PNP Chief said.

Gamboa has also ordered the procurement of 300 sets of protective gear in preparation for the deployment of NCRPO personnel who will be deployed to conduct contact tracing.

The PNP is also preparing a quarantine area for their personnel should they require it.

“(We could do house quarantine. If it’s needed to be done inside camp, and if it’s) very immediate then we will come up a specific place for quarantine,” General Gamboa concluded. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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