Cebu City police warn: Cases await ECQ violators
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City police have warned residents not to go out of their houses and the barangays they belonged to while the city is under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Police Colonel Cydric Earl Tamayo, acting director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said they had started rounding up violators of the ECQ since yesterday, Wednesday (June 24).
Initial information from CCPO showed that they caught 371 ECQ violators and confiscated at least 36 quarantine passes since 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
The figures included those, who were found not following rules on physical distancing, wearing face masks, vehicle coding scheme, speed limit, and liquor ban.
Tamayo told reporters in a teleconference on Thursday, June 25, that most of the individuals caught tried to reason with police that they were not knowledgeable on the suspension of quarantine passes.
“Some also attempted to bypass police or tried to elude checkpoints. Most of those who were apprehended were around 21 to 30 years old,” he said in Cebuano.
“First-time violators will be warned and informed of the new rules. If they are caught for the second time, that’s the time we will put their name on police records. And if they still continue to violate, they might face formal complaints, particularly on disobedience to authorities,” he added.
On Tuesday, June 23, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the suspension of all 250,000 ECQ passes issued by the Cebu City Hall.
As a result, residents — except medical and essential workers and other ‘authorized persons — are mandated to stay in their homes and within their barangays only.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, together with newly appointed COVID-19 Visayas Task Force leader and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, said that they would be implementing a ‘more carefully planned’ distribution of the passes.
The national government, through the Inter-Agency Task Force for Management on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), has intervened to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Cebu City. /dbs
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