The chief of Ermita Police in Manila was relieved from his post over his station’s failure to impose social distancing during protocols during the opening of the Manila Bay white sand beach over the weekend.
Manila Police District (MPD) chief Police Brigadier General Rolando Miranda confirmed that Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caramoan was removed.
The Ermita Police supposedly covers the controversial “white sand beach” nourishment project along Manila Bay.
According to Miranda, Caramoan would be transferred to the Manila Police headquarters.
Joint Task Force COVID Shield said PNP chief Police General Camilo Cascolan was the one who decided to relieve Caramoan from his post after failing to control the crowd during the Manila white sand beach opening on Saturday.
The task force added that Caramoan “should have taken the initiative in planning and implementing strict security and health safety measures for the opening” of Manila Bay white beach since he was the area commander.
Caramoan “could have prevented the quarantine protocol violations at the Manila Bay if there were prior planning and regular monitoring of the situation in the area,” it added.
“Clearly, he also failed to comply with the JTF COVID Shield order that was coordinated with the Chief PNP for all police commanders to monitor and immediately take action on violations of the quarantine protocols that are going viral in the social media,” the task force said.
Manila Bay white sand beach opening
On Saturday, the Manila Bay white sand beach was temporarily opened to the public. As a result, many people showed up but failed to observed physical distancing and were not wearing face shields.
The Department of the Environment and Natural Resources started the white sand project amid the pandemic and was part of the P389-million beautification of Manila Bay.
Despite criticisms and questions of the project’s timing, Malacañang supported the project and claimed the Manila Bay white sand would also help flood control and prevent soil erosion.
“Itong ginawa po nila, ito po ay tinatawag na beach enhancement, so hindi lang po ito pagpapaganda. Itong beach enhancement pong ito ay para po maiwasan ang soil erosion at para makatulong din po sa flood control,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.