Personnel of the Taguig City Police Station (TCPS) have arrested 16 people who violated the quarantine rules by engaging in a drinking session along the street as part of a birthday celebration on the night of September 12.
The said apprehension stemmed from the timely report of a concerned netizen who provided the local police with the details of the violation and even provided photos of the on-going violation of the quarantine protocols to the COVID Shield Facebook Page.
Arrested were Ralph Cruz, 19; Nichole Cruz, 21; Michael Quijou, 21; Christian Pregil, 21; Paul Belarmino, 21; Ian Augala, 21; Enen Sison, 21; Jojo Angala, 39; Jackie Bosque, 37; Franz Pascua, 19; Monica Reyes, 19; Kevin John de Guzman, 23; Ivan Pacete, 21; Gabriel Inserto, 21; Mark Anthony Ortigas, 21; and a 17-year old female.
Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said operatives of the Hagonoy Police Sub-Station 9 in Bicutan, Taguig City led by PLT. WILFREDO TANQUERIDO JR. were immediately sent to Aguirre Street in Barangay Lower Bicutan at around 10:30 P.M. of September 12 after they received the complaint and the photos of the violation from a netizen.
It was then that they chanced upon the suspects who were engaged in a drinking session.
“When the police personnel went there, those who attended the birthday celebration were not wearing face masks and not observing the proper physical distancing,” Eleazar said.
All those accosted were taken to the basketball court of the barangay which serves as a holding area for quarantine violators, and were released after six hours. But they will be charged with violation of the Taguig City Ordinance number 27-89 (Drinking in Public Places) and violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code (Resistance and Disobedience to a Person in Authority).
Eleazar said the operation conducted in Taguig City was the first quarantine violation-related police operation since the JTF COVID Shield activated a Facebook page on September 11.
The JTF COVID Shield, in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Police General Camilo Cascolan, earlier ordered police commanders to monitor viral photos, videos and reports of netizens for violations of quarantine protocols in the social media.
“The operation in Taguig City is a proof of what we as a country could achieve in terms of protecting public health if we would all work together to protect ourselves and our community from the coronavirus,” Eleazar expressed.
“We hope that this successful operation would encourage more of our kababayan to report to us all the quarantine violations in their community. We assure them of our quick response and the protection of their identity,” he added.
The PNP Chief, General Cascolan earlier emphasized the need for the barangay level enforcement of the quarantine rules, saying a good coordination between the police and the barangay officials could lead to effective prevention of the spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).
Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Eduardo Año also encouraged the netizens to help the government enforce the quarantine rules, saying that they are also in the better position to monitor social media for violations of protocols in their respective communities.