MANILA - The Philippine National Police said Friday it deployed more officers on streets to fend off crimes and potential looting while all households in Luzon were on a month-long quarantine to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The PNP earlier dispatched officers to areas where social media users claimed there were incidents of looting. The policemen found no such crimes there, said PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
"Lahat ng mga police commanders ay binigyan na ni PNP chief Gen. Arcie Francisco Gamboa ng direktiba na increased presence of police sa ating mga lansangan at damihan pa ang ating roving patrol para bigyan ng assurance ang publiko na titiyakin nating wala pong magaganap na disorder sa ating palibot," he told DZMM.
(All police commanders were instructed by PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa to increase police presence in our streets and add more roving patrols to assure the public that there will be no disorder around us.)
"Wala pong dapat ipangamba at tayo po ay makakaasa na lahat po ay gagawan ng paraan ng ating pamahalaan upang maibsan ang dinaranas ng lahat ng kababayan natin," he added.
(We have nothing to worry about and we can expect that the government will do everything to ease what the public is going through.)
Banac also urged social media users to refrain from sharing unverified information like a supposed US State Department memo that warned of a possible increase in crimes and looting during Luzon's lockdown.
"Nababahala ang PNP dahil sa mga netizens natin na hindi alam kung papaano aliwin ang mga sarili, napagdidiskitahan ang social media na magpakalat ng impormasyon na 'di naman beripikado at wala namang katotohanan," said the official.
"Huwag po tayo ang maging dahilan para magkaroon ng pangamba ang ating publiko," he added.
(The PNP is concerned that netizens do not know how to entertain themselves and spread unverified and false information on social media. Let us not cause public worry.)
The Philippines as of Thursday confirmed 217 cases of COVID-19, including 17 deaths and 8 patients who recovered.
To arrest the pathogen's spread, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed all households in Luzon under home quarantine until April 12.