More troops deployed in Luzon to strictly enforce COVID-19 quarantine protocols

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2020   •   1153

MANILA, Philippines – Eight hundred reservists of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and 116 Police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos have been deployed in different areas in Luzon amid the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Gamboa said the troops will assist local government units (LGU) in strictly implementing quarantine regulations.

“Aming ipatutupad simula ngayon ang mahigpit na enhanced community quarantine ayon sa Bayanihan Act sa buong Luzon particularly sa Metro Manila, Region 3 at Calabarzon at ganun din sa mga piling lugar sa mga lokal na pamahalaan sa buong bansa para sa kaligtasan ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” Gamboa said in PNP’s Rektang Konek program aired on UNTV.

The PNP chief said SAF troopers will be on duty from 6 a.m. to 12 noon daily in the areas of Manila, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig, Las Piñas, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Marikina.

“We need to do this because we also want to mitigate the continued risks faced by frontline PNP personnel who are exposed to increasing number of people and motorists violating the ECQ at checkpoints,” he said.

Meanwhile, AFP Spokesperson Marin Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said that 500 of the 800 soldiers will be deployed in Manila and Quezon City while the remaining will be assigned in Parañaque and Pasay.

These areas have reported the most number of ECQ violations, based on data from national police.

The Southern Police District recorded 15,475 violators, Northern Police District with 7,407 cases, Eastern Police and Quezon City Police Districts each recorded 2,000 while the Manila Police District reported about 1,000 quarantine violations.

Gamboa said ECQ violators will be charged under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, which carries penalties for the act of resistance and disobedience to a person in authority.

“These violations of law carry with it appropriate penalties and fine,” Gamboa said. “But what will be more burdensome for the violators are the tedious judicial process and the implications of derogatory record to their personal criminal profile,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP, PCG seize 36 units of firearms in Northern Samar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 28, 2021

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) have seized 36 units of firearms in Northern Samar.

Based on the initial report, a joint operation was conducted at the Allen Port in Northern Samar after receiving intel information.

Recovered in the operation were 36 M-16 rifles with an undetermined number of magazines and three 45 caliber pistols from four individuals suspected of gun-running.

Four gun-running suspects were arrested.

The firearms were found inside the trunk and on the side doors of the vehicle.

A certain Roger Lumagan or Kamandag Lumagan with driver Wahid Iskak and an unidentified person were onboard Alumina Metallic Toyota Vios bound for Datu Piang, Maguindanao from Taguig City in Metro Manila. AAC

Daily COVID-19 cases sa NCR, posibleng madoble kung hindi magpapatupad ng hard lockdown — OCTA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Naniniwala ang OCTA Research group na dapat magpatupad ang pamahalaan ng “circuit breaker” lockdown upang mapigil ang posibilidad ng lubhang pagkalat ng Delta COVID-19 variant sa bansa.

Ayon kay OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye, maaaring magpatupad ng dalawang linggong enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) o kaya ay modified ECQ upang hindi magaya ang Pilipinas sa sitwasyon sa mga kalapit bansa nang kumalat ang Delta variant.

“What we’re envisioning is something along MECQ, ECQ. They will depend on the government and the amount of precaution we need… It was a precautionary recommendation because of an impending, clear, and present danger post of Delta,” ani Rye.

Sa pagtaya ng grupo, kapag hindi naagapan ay maaaring makapagtala ng 1,500 hanggang 3,000 kaso ng COVID-19 kada araw sa National Capital Region sa susunod na dalawang linggo.

Ayon kay OCTA Research fellow Prof. David Guido, nasa 1.33 na ngayon ang COVID-19 reproduction number sa NCR.

Halos kapareho aniya ito ng reproduction rate nang magkaroon ng surge noong unang bahagi ng 2020.

“It looks like it is manageable this time but it may no longer be manageable if we wait too long, before we make a crucial decision in our pandemic management,” ani Guido.

“We are averaging 1,000 cases. Two weeks ago it was just 600, and we thought it was decreasing, but something is driving the pandemic and pushing the caseload higher,” dagdag pa niya.

Dapat ding iwasan na umabot pa ang bansa sa worst-case scenario at umabot sa critical level hanggang 100% full ang hospital capacity sa NCR sa buwan ng Agosto.

Kasabay ng mga paghihigpit ng quarantine classification ay ang tuloy tuloy at mas mabilis na COVID-19 vaccination sa bansa.

Inirerekomenda rin ng grupo na paikliin ang interval sa pagbibigay ng doses ng Sinovac at AstraZeneca vaccines.

“Ramp up vacination even while we’re on lockdown. We can still do it,” ani Rye.

“OCTA is exhorting government to focus on its plan, we believe its plan will work in which the NCR plus 10. I was told by Sec. (Carlito) Galvez some time in August, 2 million Moderna vaccines are coming through as a donation from the United States,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, inayunan naman ni Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion ang panukalang ito ng OCTA.

“If the government, DOH Secretary Duque will push for a two-week hard lockdown, we will support it because we will prefer to solve the problem early and not wait for the problem to get bigger, then we will have to lockdown for months. That is the most catastrophic thing that could happen in our country if that happens in the 4th quarter,” ani Concepcion.

Una nang ipinahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa kaniyang huling State of the Nation Address na kung kinakailangangan ay magpapatupad muli ng lockdown ang pamahalaan dahil sa banta ng Delta variant

Patuloy ang pakiusap ng mga awtoridad sa publiko na maging responsable, huwag magpakampante at magpabakuna na upang makaiwas sa mas mabagsik na Delta COVID-19 variant. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

4 alleged BIFF members surrender in Maguindanao — WestMinCom

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

Four alleged members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to authorities in Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said Wednesday.

In a statement, WestMinCom chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said the relentless focused military operations in central Mindanao have led to the starvation of some terrorists and prompted them to surrender.

Vinluan said the four members of the BIFF-Bungos Faction submitted themselves to the troops of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion (1Mech Bn) at about 11 a.m. on July 27.

“They handed over their firearm including one US cal. 50HB machine gun, one R4A3 Carbine with M203 grenade launcher, one cal. 30 Carbine, and one 7.62mm sniper rifle,” said 1Mech Bn Commander Lt. Col. Cresencio Sanchez, Jr.

Subject personalities were subsequently presented to Col. Pedro Balisi, Jr., Commander of 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (1Mech Bde), and Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan at the unit headquarters in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

The four are currently undergoing custodial debriefing at the 1Mech Bde headquarters, the WestMinCom said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Central urged the remaining BIFF members to yield and avail of the government’s reintegration programs.

“Now is the best time for you to surrender,” Uy said.

Since January 2021, the AFP said that the JTF Central neutralized a total of 145 BIFF personalities; 69 of which were killed, 74 surrendered, and two were apprehended.

“The offensives of the Joint Task Force Central will continue despite the mounting number of BIFF members who are now deciding to return to the folds of the law,” Vinluan said.

“Rest assured that all our operations adhere to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws,” he added.

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