MANILA — Five policemen in the convoy of San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora face investigation for allegedly ignoring Baguio City's checkpoint protocols against the coronavirus pandemic, the Metro Manila police said Monday.
Zamora's group allegedly "just passed by and ignored the border control checkpoint at Kennon Road," said Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
"The driver of the lead vehicle just slowed down a bit, pointed out the vehicles tailing his police car, then sped off with the Mayor’s entourage in tow going to Baguio Country Club without having to undergo the mandatory triage health examination," he said in a statement.
Sinas said he ordered the transfer of the 5 policemen in the escort to the NCRPO's holding and accounting unit in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig to give way to a "comprehensive investigation." They were also ordered to submit a written explanation.
"I will not condone any wrongdoing of our Police Officers in the implementation of the Community Quarantine Protocols, if held responsible," said Sinas.
"We, as law enforcers, are bound to respect the existing rules and regulations anywhere in the Philippines. The safety of the people remains as our top priority in this trying times," he said.
Sinas last month made headlines when he and and other high-ranking police officials were charged with administrative cases due to a "mañanita" or early morning birthday serenade. President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not relieve Siñas from his post despite the incident.
Zamora meanwhile apologized to Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong and his constituents for the checkpoint breach. He said he went to the mountain city because his wife, a breast cancer patient, has a house there and was advised by her doctor to rest.
He said they complied with the city's protocols after arriving at a hotel.
"Again, I humbly and most respectfully apologize to Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the people of Baguio City for this incident. There was never any intention not to follow Baguio's health and security protocols," Zamora said.