The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) told police officers not to arrest or file a case against quarantine violators as these measures were “counterproductive,” PNP spokesperson Ildebrandi Usana said on Monday.
The statement came following the deaths of two curfew violators who died after being arrested for violating quarantine protocols.
According to Usana, PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas has ordered cops not to file complaints or arrest quarantine violators.
“The Chief PNP required na huwag nang mang-aresto [o] magsampa ng kaso because it might be counterproductive also to our people,” Usana said.
(“The Chief PNP required not to arrest quarantine violators or file a complaint because it might be counterproductive to our people.”)
Usana noted arresting or filing complaints against quarantine violators is also impractical for police officers stationed at checkpoints because they have to bring the violators to police stations.
The PNP spokesperson also said that the police are instructed to just release the quarantine violators brought by barangay or local government authorities to their station.
Usana said PNP would implement the health protocols with more compassion and would inform the public on how COVID-19 spreads in the Philippines.
Sinas told cops not to arrest quarantine violators: PNP spox
On April 7, a quarantine violator who had heart disease died after allegedly being forced to do around 300 pumps in General Trias in Cavite.
The victim was identified as Darren Peñaredondo. According to his live-in partner Reichelyn Balce, village watchmen arrested Peñaredondo for violating the curfew on April 1.
Balce said the quarantine violators were asked to do pumping exercises 100 times.
However, the cops made them repeat the exercise because they were not in sync until they do almost 300 rounds.
Peñaredondo died of stroke the following day.
On April 9, another curfew violator Ernanie Jimenez died after barangay guard allegedly beat him.
Barangay Turbina guards caught the curfew violator and allegedly beat him when he tried to escape.
The incident happened Wednesday night but Ernanie died at Calamba Medical Center Hospital on Friday.
When Ernanie had a CT scan, his skull was found to be crushed, his brother said.