PNP shifts focus to maintaining order in communities amid Luzon lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2020 01:50 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday said it was shifting some of its focus from checkpoints to maintaining peace and order in communities as Luzon remained under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PNP Spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the situation at quarantine-controlled stations has settled down, noting that vehicles including those carrying essential goods and exempted workers have been passing through with ease.

"Napakaluwang na at bilang na bilang na lang ang mga sasakyang dumaraan dito at lahat ng mga delivery trucks at basic commodities and emergency (supplies) ay tuloy-tuloy na pong nakakadaan," Banac said at the government-led Laging Handa briefing aired on state-run PTV4 Saturday.

(The number of vehicles passing through have gone down and all delivery trucks and basic commodities and emergency supplies are allowed to pass through unhampered.)

He said there are less pedestrians trying to cross quarantine-controlled stations.

"Dahil diyan tayo ay nag-shift na po, ngayon bibigyan ng pansin ang ating maintenance of order sa lahat ng ating residential at commercial areas," he said.

(Because of this, we have shifted our concentration to maintenance of order in all residential and commercial areas.)

Several control points have been set up at borders of Metro Manila after an enhanced community quarantine was imposed in Luzon to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The PNP spokesperson also denied reports circulating on social media about alleged social disorder in some parts of Metro Manila.

"Walang pong katotohanan na may nangyayari o nagaganap na mga disorder sa mga residential areas o 'yung mga pagtatangka ng mga grupo na manloob o pasukin 'yung mga grocery stores," he said.

(There’s no truth to reports of disorder happening in residential areas or any attempt by a group to unlawfully enter grocery stores.)

He assured the public that the PNP is ready to respond and has in fact deployed more patrol units on the ground.

"Lahat ng pulis lumalabas ngayon upang bigyan katiyakan ang publiko na wala pong dapat ipangamba. Tayo po ay dapat lang na manatili sa ating mga tahanan," he said.

(All policemen are now deployed to assure the public that there is nothing to worry about. We should just stay at home.)