Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año assures the public that police officers will be courteous and firm and will follow all laws and regulations in the implementation of community quarantine Metro Manila starting today until April 14, 2020.
“We assure the public that our police officers manning the checkpoints will follow all laws and regulations in enforcing the community quarantine. If there are abuses, please report that to DILG and we will act on it immediately,” hesaid.
"Wala pong human rights na maba-violate sa pagpapairal ng community quarantine na ito. Mayroon po tayong protocol na sinusunod at magalang po kayong kakausapin ng ating mga kapulisan kung saan kayo papunta, ano ang inyong pakay, at iba pa," hesays.
"Nakakalungkot na sa panahong ganito na sinusubok ang ating bansa ay naiisip pa ng iba nating mga kababayan na akusahan ang pamahalaan nang paggamit sa krisis na ito para pairalin diumano ang batas militar. This is a global public health emergency not martial law," headds.
He explains that accusations pointing to the national government's alleged agenda to use the COVID-19 crisis for something sinister is baseless and uncalled for. "Gaya po ng sabi ng ating Pangulo, ito pong community quarantine ay para lamang sa kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan. Hindi lang po ang Pilipinas ang gumagawa ng ganito, buong mundo po," he says.
According to Año, the police will question and seek proof of identification from people seeking to go to Metro Manila and advise them to go home if they fail to show proper proof.
"Sa pagkakataong magresist ang ating mga kababayan, doon pa lang ipapatupad ng ating kapulisan ang batas ng walang nilalabag na karapatang pantao. Samantala, atin din namang parurusahan ang mga pulis na mapapatunayang nang-aabuso ng ating mga kakabayan," he says.
In the event of an abuse, the DILG Chief says that a 'one strike policy' will be carried out to ensure that abusive law enforcers will be punished.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya urges the public to report it to the government or the DILG through Hotline 8888, 911 and the DILG-Public Assistance and Complaints Center at 8925-0343 for any abuses committed by police officers in the line of duty.
He says that the PNP follows strict protocols in manning the checkpoints, including the following:
1. Checkpoints must be well-lighted, properly identified, and manned by uniformed police officers;
2. Upon approach, slow down, dim headlights and turn on cabin lights.
3. Questions about purpose of travel will be asked. Police officers shall be courteous but firm. Be ready to submit company IDs, government issued ID cards, certificate of employment, SEC registration and other documents to prove purpose of travel is among the allowable exemptions to the travel ban.
4. Police officers may request driver’s license, other valid ID cards, and car registration.
5. Police are only allowed to do a visual search.
"Anumang paglabag ng ating kapulisan ay itawag ninyo lang sa amin, ireport po ninyo sa amin at kami na po ang bahala diyan. Kapag napatunayang tiwali ay agad nating aaksyonan at parurusahan," saysMalaya.
He asks the public to bring lots of patience and expect long lines and waiting time at the checkpoints.
“We expect that traffic will be horrendous so we urge all those who do not have valid reasons to come to Metro Manila to please don’t add to the congestion in our checkpoints. Wag nap po tayong pumasok sa Maynila kung pwede nating ipagpaliban ang ating byahe,” he says.