PNP probes how infected Manila cop traveled to Baguio during lockdown
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – A ranking police officer who tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease is under investigation for travelling to Baguio City from Metro Manila despite the border lockdown, the Baguio City Police Office said on Wednesday, May 13.
Police Major Rafael Baldado Roxas, deputy chief of the Fingerprint Division of the Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame in Quezon City, went home to his family in Baguio City and had himself tested for the disease.
Roxas, the first police officer in the Cordillera region to test positive for coronavirus, is currently one of two remaining active cases in Baguio City.
"His travel from Manila to Baguio is now under Pre-Charge Investigation. If it will be found that he committed lapses, then the proper disciplinary actions will be taken against him," Baguio City Police Office director Police Colonel Allen Rae Co said on Wednesday, May 13.
Roxas joined other coronavirus patients in the city in revealing his identity to hasten contact tracing.
He was confined at the Baguio General Hospital after his results returned positive while his family was placed under isolation.
Barangay Dontongan, where he lives, will be placed under lockdown to facilitate containment, contact tracing, and decontamination.
Co denied that Baguio cops gave Roxas special treatment. "It is also untrue that we give special treatment to our brother in arms in their travels during the time of ECQ. As a matter of fact, the PNP has issued restrictions on the movement of our personnel especially those coming from NCR (National Capital Restriction) and these restrictions were imposed upon the directive of our Chief PNP and our PROCOR Regional Director specifically to prevent these kinds of incidents," he said.
Co appealed for compassion from the public. "Let us not also forget that it is almost a certainty that he was exposed to the virus while diligently performing his duties as a frontliner," Co said.
"We ask for your understanding and compassion in this time of greatest need of Major Roxas," he said.
Baguio City is among several localities that remained under Enhanced Community Quarantine after April 30. It will lift its ECQ on May 16 to make way for the more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ). – Rappler.com