Partygoers will be arrested–PNP chief
Partygoers during the Christmas season will be arrested as part of public safety efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the chief of the Philippine National Police warned on Monday.
“Parties have been prohibited so, of course, we will have [partygoers] arrested,” said Police Gen. Debold Sinas, who drew flak for his “mañanita” (dawn) birthday party in May amid the government lockdown to prevent the virus transmission.
Dinner events, while these can be categorized as parties, are allowed as long as health measures are observed, Sinas said. “I leave it to the commanders to decide.”
On the deployment of so-called Santa cops or policemen dressed as Santa Claus during the Christmas season, the PNP chief said only a few of them had been fielded.
“I did not discourage the Santa cops but I also do not encourage [their deployment],” he said. “What we are directing for our units [is] to deploy social distancing [patrollers].”
Sinas said some units might have designated Santa cops “to entertain people, catch their attention, and give them reminders [on health rules].” He stressed, however, that deployment “is very minimal.”
Pedestrians who are not wearing masks or face shields “will no longer be arrested if the violation is simply improper wearing of face masks and shields.” he said. “So we have given instructions that they should only be approached and reminded.”
“If they do not have face masks, give them masks. No face shield, give them face shields,” Sinas said. INQ
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