SANTO TOMAS, Davao del Norte (April 18, 2020)—The Municipal Police Station here said that four individuals were fined and arrested for violation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the municipality, a police official said Saturday.
Police Major Frederick Deles, chief of police of Santo Tomas PNP, said that these four individuals were found to have been violated the Republic Act 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” and local government unit’s executive orders related to COVID-19 protocols.
Deles said that RA 11332 aims to protect people from public health threats by way of imposing stringent measures to curb the novel coronavirus epidemic through the efficient and effective disease surveillance of diseases of public health concern.
According to Deles, the four persons violated the Section 9 of RA 11332, specifically for being “non-cooperative” to authorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic as this falls under the “Prohibited Acts” of the said law.
Apart from RA 11332, they also violated the RA 1149 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act and Disobedience To Persons In Authority under the Revised Penal Code.
Section 10 of RA 11332 states that any person or entity found to have violated Section 9 of this Act shall be penalized with a fine of not less than Twenty thousand pesos (₱20,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.
If the offense is committed by a public or private health facility, institution, agency, corporation, school, or other juridical entity duly organized in accordance with law, the chief executive officer, president, general manager, or such other officer in charge shall be held liable. In addition, the business permit and license to operate of the concerned facility, institution, agency, corporation, school, or legal entity shall be cancelled.
These violators were residents of Barangays Tibal-og, Salvacion, New Katipunan and La Libertad.
The arrest was part of the agency’s Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield).
The JTF CV Shield is the enforcement arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. It is composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
He also disclosed that curfew violators —most of them of legal age and found to be intoxicated with alcohol despite the liquor ban—were being subjected to inquest proceedings.
On the “no back ride policy,” Deles said that the riding public must heed the policy set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in order to maintain social distancing.
“Everyone must observe the DOTr policy. We reiterate our appeal to the public to follow the national guidelines of DOTr on social distancing. This policy is implemented uniformly in all LGUs in the entire country,” Deles said.
Early on, the Santo Tomas PNP has been lenient on imposing penalties for ECQ violators as violators were just reprimanded but were warned of penalties if they repeat the offense.
Deles, however, noted there was a surge of violators despite the repeated warnings given to the public.
This pushed the Santo Tomas PNP to implement fully the law, saying legal offensive against the violators, particularly the repeat offenders, were also intensified.
“We appeal to the public to stay home and obey our ECQ protocols to avoid being arrested, detained, and charged. Your law enforcement authorities together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines are doing our best to protect our communities and ensure that Santo Tomas will maintain COVID-19-free,” he said.
On the other hand, Mayor Ernesto Evangelista commended the Santo Tomas PNP and the AFP for maintaining the peace and order across the municipality.###