COVID-19

More than 11,000 apprehended for improper wearing of masks in ‘NCR Plus’

Jairo Bolledo
More than 11,000 apprehended for improper wearing of masks in ‘NCR Plus’

APPREHENDED. The Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety Task Force Disiplina arrests health protocol violators at the UP Campus in Diliman on Tuesday, March 9, 202, to inform them on their first, second and third offense penalties.

Rappler

So far, there is no national law that specifically criminalizes the improper wearing of face masks

The Philippine National Police (PNP) recorded more than 11,000 apprehended individuals for the improper wearing of face masks in the “NCR Plus bubble” from May 15 to 21, 2021.

According to the PNP’s latest data, 11,774 “face mask violators” were apprehended by the police in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Of that number, a total of 945 were arrested by the police. 38 violators were inquested, while 907 have undergone a regular filing of case.

Meanwhile, 5,023 were warned, 5,324 were fined, and 482 rendered community service.

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More than 18,000 apprehended for improper wearing of face masks

More than 18,000 apprehended for improper wearing of face masks

President Rodrigo Duterte, during a speech on May 5, again ordered the police to arrest, detain, and investigate those improperly wearing face masks. 

Originally, the police already stopped arresting individuals following the death of quarantine violators in Cavite and Laguna in April. The PNP last April said it would instead implement a compassionate kind of law enforcement.

Unclear charges

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the arrested individuals were charged with cases depending on the local ordinances of each local government unit.

So far, there is no national law that specifically criminalizes the improper wearing of face masks. 

The DILG spokesperson, meanwhile, reiterated that arrested individuals shall stay under detention for a maximum of 12 hours only. 

”Maximum of 12 hours if no charges have been filed against that individual. However, if it’s, for example, a violation for the third time, he may be detained for more than 12 hours,” Malaya said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s ANC on May 21.

Malaya also clarified that the type or arrest or apprehension of a violator may vary.

For example, a person who was apprehended for the first time shall only be warned or fined depending on the required payment in the local ordinance. However, if it’s the second or third time, the individual can be arrested.

The DILG executive added the Department of Justice has already submitted the proposed guidelines for arresting individuals violating the minimum health standards. – Rappler.com

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.