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Over 100,000 quarantine violators arrested in PH since March

Over 100,000 quarantine violators have been arrested in the Philippines since measures were imposed in the country in mid-March, according to data from Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

As of September 6, police have arrested a total of 100,486 alleged quarantine violators across the country.

Of the total, 73,812 were released for regular filing, 26,674 were released after facing inquest proceedings, while 1,735 are still detained in police stations. (READ: PNP begins to arrest lockdown violators without warning)

Most of the arrests were made in Luzon. The breakdown of the arrests per island group in the country are as follows:

  • Luzon - 57,253 arrests
  • Visayas - 23,891 arrests
  • Mindanao - 19,342 arrests

The police also counted 974 individuals arrested for hoarding supplies, manipulating prices, profiteering, and other exploitative practices to earn from the crisis.

Why does this matter?

The number of alleged quarantine violators reflect the Duterte administration's push for strict law enforcement as one of its strategies to contain the virus. (READ: Policing a pandemic: Philippines still stuck with drug war blueprint)

But with mass testing still not being conducted by the government, and limited contract-tracing, strict law enforcement can only go so far.

The Philippines continues to be the country with the highest number of reported infections in Southeast Asia, with a total of 241,987 cases as of Tuesday, September 8.

On Tuesday morning, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the government plans to introduce a new rule – home quarantine of COVID-19 cases will be prohibited unless for special cases.

The aggressive enforcement of lockdown rules has also resulted in multiple incidents of abuse by police and deputized civilian officials, leading to at least one incident of mauling of a fish vendor, and a shooting incident that killed a former soldier. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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