– with Christian Oineza and Noel Talacay
NINE persons have been arrested by policemen for violation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said on Sunday.
Banac, however, did not say where and when the suspects were arrested. He said they will be charged for violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, or disrespect or disobedience to authorities.
Disrespect or disobedience to authorities is punishable with arresto mayor (one month and one day to six months imprisonment), and a fine not exceeding P500. When the disobedience is not serious in nature, the penalty is arresto menor (one day to 30 days imprisonment) or a fine ranging from P10 to P100.
Prior to the arrests, Banac said the PNP has received reports that persons not exempted to travel under the quarantine guidelines continued to go out of their communities for non-essential travels.
The PNP has put up checkpoints in strategic areas throughout Luzon to restrict the movement of persons to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“That’s the reason why we set an example. We already arrested nine and filed charges against them for being stubborn, they were insisting to go out (of their community), that’s why they were arrested by policemen,” Banac said.
In northern Luzon, Banac said over 100 persons were “confronted” for violation of the home quarantine regulation.
In Pasig and Marikina cities, five persons were arrested on Saturday for “non-cooperation,” Eastern Police District director Brig. Gen Johnson Almazan said.
The police arrested Alvin Bunda, 22, a make-up artist who lives at barangay Tumana in Marikina; Patrick Piscos, 45, from Fortune, Marikina; Aaron Gulimas, 27, waiter, and Arthur Perez, 18, both of barangay Sagad in Pasig; and Albert Albao, 40, technician, from Manggahan, also in Pasig.
Meanwhile, Banac said the PNP has downsized the number of its personnel manning check and control points because the situation on the ground has already greatly improved.
Citing reports from the field, Banac said people are now already cooperating with authorities, except for isolated cases, leading to the peaceful and orderly implementation of the strict home quarantine rules.
“There are lesser number of checking, thermal scanning. In the coming weeks, we will continue our efforts because we still have to monitor the passage of essential workers, government workers,” he said.
Banac said there are no reports of policemen manning the checkpoints getting infected by the virus.
“So far, all our frontliners are not showing any symptoms for COVID-19. We are ensuring that they are wearing PPEs (personal protective equipment) so they will not be infected by COVID-19,” he said.
In Muntinlupa, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has locked down a posh village in barangay Cupang after two of its residents tested positive for COVID-19.
Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Teresa Tuliao said they recommended the lockdown as a “precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the area, especially since the confirmed cases lived in close proximity to one another. The CHO is coordinating with PNP to facilitate this stringent measure,” Tuliao said.
Tuliao said triage areas and quarantine rooms have now been installed at the Ospital ng Muntinlupa and in all barangays to accommodate patients suspected to have contracted the disease.
Muntinlupa has two confirmed patients, 96 persons under monitoring (PUMs), and 45 persons under investigation (PUIs).