The police escorts of San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora have been relieved from their posts for allegedly breaking the health protocols of Baguio City, where Zamora went to last week.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major General Debold Sinas announced today that he ordered the transfer of the five cops to the NCRPO’s Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit while they are being investigated.
“I will not condone any wrongdoing of our police officers in the implementation of the community quarantine protocols if held responsible,” Sinas said.
“We, as law enforcers, are bound to respect the existing rules and regulations anywhere in the Philippines. The safety of the people remains as our top priority in these trying times,” Sinas, who became embroiled in the mañanita scandal where he allegedly broke quarantine protocols, added.
In a statement, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Zamora’s convoy, composed of six vehicles, arrived at the checkpoint on Kennon Road on Friday at about 2:30pm.
“When his group was flagged down for inspection, the driver of the lead vehicle just slowed down a bit, and merely told the checkpoint personnel that he was part of a convoy, pointing out the vehicles tailing his police car, then forthwith sped off with the Mayor’s entourage in tow,” Magalong said.
The staff manning the checkpoint informed their colleagues about the incident, and followed Zamora’s team which went to Baguio Country Club (BCC).
“Upon arrival, the group was asked for the required medical health clearance, but since none was presented, was politely told to undergo triage examination,” Magalong said. “Considering that they were already at their destination, medical personnel from the City Health Service Office were dispatched to BCC to set up the triage facility, purposely to ensure that containment and isolation, if needed, were done.”
Magalong added that while Zamora was inside one of the cars, it was allegedly the latter’s Philippine National Police (PNP) escort who made the decision of ignoring quarantine protocols.
“To his credit, Mayor Zamora took the effort to inform me about this incident and apologized for the serious lapse on the part of his police escorting officer. He profusely expressed deep regrets that while asleep in his car at the time, the PNP escort leading his convoy mindlessly took it on his own to ignore what has long been a standard border protection measure prescribed not only in his but our own city,” Magalong said.
“It is clear that the San Juan City-based police officer who served as [a] lead escort of his City Mayor’s convoy has committed a serious breach of standing quarantine protocols. While in Metro Manila at that time, I gave stern instructions to my office staff and the city health authorities to see to it that the visiting Mayor’s group, including himself, go through triage examination, for containment purposes should anyone be tested positive of the [corona] virus,” he narrated, and added that complaints have already been filed against Zamora’s erring police escorts.
Zamora made a public apology in a statement released yesterday and said he had “no intentions” of breaking any checkpoint or quarantine protocols. The San Juan official added that his wife is a breast cancer patient who has been advised by her doctor “to take a very needed rest” to explain why they traveled to Baguio last week.
“We decided to go to Baguio because her family has an old house there. She was going to stay there for a few weeks to rest and recover,” he explained.
“I humbly and most respectfully apologize to Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the people of Baguio City for this incident,” he said.
This article, Zamora’s police escorts relieved for allegedly breaking Baguio’s health protocols, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!