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