Cops in Metro Manila, nearby regions on full alert due to coronavirus

Rambo Talabong

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Cops in Metro Manila, nearby regions on full alert due to coronavirus

Cops will have to work overtime to respond to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and to enforce the lockdown of Metro Manila beginning March 15

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has placed its cops in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Bicol on full alert beginning Friday, March 13.

The PNP Directorate for Operations issued the order citing President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a public health emergency in the country and the “community quarantine” of Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14, to stem the COVID-19 outbreak.

After Duterte announced the lockdown, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said cops would enforce it through checkpoints. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, meanwhile, is on standby to augment police forces.

Placing cops on full alert means that their vacation leaves are canceled and that they would have to work overtime. The PNP earlier banned foreign travel for cops to prevent them from getting the novel coronavirus abroad.

National Capital Region Police Office Director Major General Debold Sinas earlier said at least 40,000 cops would be deployed to enforce the Metro Manila lockdown.

Duterte approved the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus crisis on Thursday night that recommended, among others, that Metro Manila be placed on a 30-day lockdown, but the Presdient said he would issue an executive order to make sure  that the recommendations are followed. Agencies have yet to issued their respective memoranda on how to enforce the resolution. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.