Vera Cruz named new JTF COVID-19 shield chief

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021   •   326

Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz has been designated as the new commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Wednesday.

“Effective on Tuesday, April 20, Vera Cruz was designated as the Deputy Chief for Operations and Task Force Commander of the enforcement arm of the national government in the implementation of quarantine rules and health protocols,” PNP chief General Debold Sinas said in a statement.

Vera Cruz replaced Police Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, who will retire on April 24 and whose designation has been terminated effective April 20, 2021.

“As the new commander of this task force, I expect PLtGen Vera Cruz will continue the plans and programs of the previous commander and enforce strict quarantine rules in the country to mitigate the spread of the virus while waiting for the available vaccines,” Sinas said.

The JTF Covid-19 Shield is composed of members of the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Ilang community pantry organizer, tutol sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umaabot na sa mahigit 6,000 ang bilang ng mga community pantry na nagbukas sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa batay sa huling tala ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Bawat araw ay daan-daan ang pumipila sa mga community pantry upang makakuha ng supply ng pagkain sa gitna na rin ng pandemiya.

Upang matiyak na naipatutupad ng maayos ang health protocols at maiwasan ang posibleng hawaan ng COVID-19, nagsasagawa ng patrolya sa mga community pantry ang mga tauhan ng pambansang pulisya.

Ngunit ayon sa ilang organizer, hindi na kailangan ang presensiya ng mga pulis dahil tumutulong naman ang mga opisyal ng barangay sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan.

Ayon kay Jerome Adonis, ang secretary-general ng Kilusang Mayo Uno, hindi sila sang-ayon sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis lalo’t una nang napaulat ang umano’y ginagawang profiling sa mga organizer ng community pantry

“Hindi kami agree duon, kasi unang-una napaka dungis na ng imahe ng Philippine National Police sa ating mga kababayan lalo na dito sa pantry dahil nabuko na yung kanilang maiitim na balakin nung nakaraan na iprofile yung mga kababayan natin,” ang wika ni Adonis.

“Kasi kaya naman syang i-handle ng barangay, hindi kailangan ang pulis,” dagdag pa niya.

Kung ang mga pumipila naman sa community pantry ang tatanungin, mas maiging may nakabantay na mga pulis upang masegurong maayos ang pila ng mga tao.

Wala rin umano silang nararamdamang takot kahiit pa mag-ikot ang mga pulis sa lugar.

“Mas maganda nga po yung may pulis kasi naaayos po yung mga pila kasi po ang karamihan dito mga pasaway po yung iba,” ani Jane Estrera na isa sa mga benepisyaryo ng community pantry.

“Okay lang, kasi nababantayan ng maayos yung mga pila tapos nakikita kung talagang susunod sa protocol ng gobyerno para maiwasan din namagkahawa-hawa sa virus,” ang wika naman ng isa pang pumipila sa community pantry na si Mhaby Galima.
Paglilinaw naman ng Manila Police District (MPD), hindi permanente ang ginagawang nilang pagbabantay sa ma community pantry dahil may kani-kaniyang ring assigned areas ang mga pulis.

Ayon kay MPD director Police Brigadier General Leo Francisco, nagpapadala lamang sila ng mga tauhan sa isang community pantry kung kinakailangan o kaya ay hiniling ng mga organizer.

“Unless na hindi humihingi sa amin yung community pantry na talagang duon sila, hindi kami required na ganun pero we are required to patrol and see them kung sila ay orderly, kung yung minimum health protocol ay naipatutupad sa community pantry na yun,” ani Francisco.

Una nang idinipensa ni PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar ang ginagawang pag-iikot ng mga pulis sa community pantries at iginiit na bahagi ng tungkulin ng pulisya ang magbantay sa publiko at magbigay ng ayuda kung kinakailangan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nuñez)

New PNP Chief assures no shaming, exercise for health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — New Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar has assured that health protocol violators will not be shamed or be forced to exercise.

Eleazar clarified that individuals who are not wearing face masks or are not wearing face masks properly will be accosted but will be sent home after proper documentation and process. Violators will be taken to the nearest police station and will be investigated before receiving proper sanctions.

Walang makukulong dahil sa hindi pagsusuot lamang ng mask. Walang masasaktan. Walang mag- eexercise. Walang ipahihiya (No one will be imprisoned just because of not wearing masks. No one will be hurt. There will be no exercise. There will be no shaming),” he said.

If violators will be fined, Eleazar said, they will be given a ticket. If they will do community service, it will be scheduled. Violators will not be charged unless necessary.

Eleazar said the PNP will coordinate with the local government to make sure the city has holding facilities so as not to crowd police stations.

Ang bilin ko sa inyo, ang bilin ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año bago kayo mag-arestuhan tingnan nyo muna kung may paglalagyan kayo sa inyong opisina. Dahil ang ayaw naman natin kapag inaresto niyo iyan ay kumpol kumpol pa doon. So coordinate with your local government unit at barangay (My directive, as well as the directive of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is, before any arrest, make sure there is a place in your office where you can put them. We don’t want them to cramp in one area once arrested. So, coordinate with your local government unit and the barangay), he said. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP chief Eleazar orders preparation of detention areas for face mask policy violators

Robie de Guzman   •   May 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar has directed police commanders to coordinate with local authorities for the preparation of facilities that will be used as detention areas for those apprehended for improper wearing of face masks in public places.

During his first command conference on Saturday, Eleazar said police commanders should work closely with local officials in identifying detention facilities in each community.

The newly-installed PNP chief issued the directive in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent order to apprehend and investigate persons improperly wearing face masks while in public.

“One of the concerns that needs to be addressed is the availability of our detention cells. Alam naman natin na bago pa ang direktibang ito ng ating Pangulo, may mga pagkakataong kinukulang na talaga ang ating mga pasilidad kung kaya’t dapat natin itong paghandaan,” he said in a statement released Sunday.

“Makipagtulungan tayo sa mga lokal na opisyal, kasama ang barangay, para malaman natin kung aling mga lugar sa bawat komunidad ang maaari nating gamiting detention facilities para sa mga sadyang pasaway,” he added.

Eleazar also stressed that physical distancing must still be observed in detention areas to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“Mababalewala ang paghuli sa kanila kung walang social distancing sa ating mga detention areas,” he said.

He likewise reminded police officials that persons arrested for violation of minimum public health safety standards can only be held for a maximum of 12 hours unless charges are filed against them.

The Department of Justice earlier said that the guidelines, which will include the process of booking, detention, and investigation to avoid overcrowding, is currently being crafted.

Eleazar further reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance in arresting violators and warned them against abusive behavior.

 

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