MANILA (UPDATE) - The ban on selling and consuming alcoholic products took effect at past midnight Sunday as the nation gears up for the midterm polls on May 13.
Metro Manila police chief Guillermo Eleazar inspected several establishments in National Capital Region early Sunday.
Eleazar, along with local police chiefs toured P. Burgos Street in Makati, which is known as a tourist area with bars and establishments catering to foreign tourists.
Most of the establishments had on display notices of exemption issued to them by the Comelec NCR to allow them to sell liquor but only to foreigners, who are not covered by the election ban.
Eleazar said he was satisfied that the places complied with the requirements for exemption and cautioned others to refrain from serving alcoholic drinks even to foreigners without getting the permit.
"Kung wala silang nakuhang exemption at may foreigners na umiinom, may violation pa rin sila roon, mag secure muna sila."
(If they failed to get an exemption and there are foreigners drinking, they still have a violation. They should secure a permit fist.)
Meanwhile, convenience stores have already stopped selling alcoholic drinks after midnight Sunday, covering the rows of the items with plastic to prevent the bottles from being taken.
The liquor ban ends on May 14.
Eleazar added police commanders around the metro have been instructed to roam the streets to enforce the ban.
"We will strictly enforce this 48 hour liquor ban. At sisiguruhin natin na pag may nakita tayo aarestuhin natin yan. Kahit pa mapuno ang ating stations and offices ng mga naaresto natin, ipapakita natin that we really mean business just like in our anti-vote-buying campaign," Eleazar said.
(We will make sure that if we see anyone [violating the ban] we will arrest them. Even if our stations and officies get crowded, we will show that we really mean business, just like in our anti-vote-buying campaign.)
Nineteen persons were arrested earlier this morning in Binondo, Manila for violating the liquor ban.