MANILA (UPDATE) - Manila's police chief on Sunday sacked a station commander for allegedly not preventing violations of COVID-19 safety protocols by people visiting the "white sand beach" area of Manila Bay.
In a text message, Manila Police District Director Rolando Miranda said he issued an administrative relief against Ermita Police Station Commander Ariel Caramoan after authorities supposedly failed to implement safety protocols at the controversial baywalk.
The Ermita Police Station has jurisdiction over the Manila Bay area.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield, meanwhile, hailed the immediate relief of Caramoan.
In a statement, the JTF COVID Shield said Caramoan should have taken the initiative to plan and implement strict security and safety measures at Manila Bay.
"Caramoan could have prevented the quarantine protocol violations at the Manila Bay if there was prior planning and regular monitoring of the situation in the area," the JTF COVID Shield said.
"Clearly, he also failed to comply with the JTF COVID Shield order that was coordinated with the Chief PNP (Philippine National Police) for all police commanders to monitor and immediately take action on violations of the quarantine protocols that are going viral in the social media," it added.
Caramoan will be replaced by Police Lt. Col. Alex Daniel, according to JTF COVID Shield.
Hundreds of people flocked to Manila Bay on Sunday morning to get a glimpse of the artificial white sand, made of crushed dolomite rocks, dumped in the area as part of the beach nourishment project.
-- With reports from Jekki Pascual and Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News