QC says COVID-19 positive cops had no contact with public on SONA day

Jairo Bolledo
QC says COVID-19 positive cops had no contact with public on SONA day

COPS. Hundreds of anti-riot police are deployed at Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City for President Rodrigo Duterte's final SONA on Monday, July 26, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

The police have yet to clarify how the cops were deployed even if their RT-PCR test results had yet to be released

The Quezon City government on Wednesday night, July 28, said that all 51 COVID-19 positive cops who were deployed during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26 had no contact with the public.

According to the QC local government, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and the QCPD Talipapa Station 3 said that all cops deployed for the SONA were assigned as route security and did not directly engage with the protesters.

In a statement released on Thursday, July 29, Philippine National Police chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said he ordered the administrative relief of QCPD Station 3 commander Lieutenant Colonel Cristine Tabdi following the gaffe.

“In view of the apparent breach of protocol when most of these PNP personnel were deployed for SONA duties even if they were still waiting for their RT-PCR results, I have already ordered the administrative relief of the Station Commander, Police Station 3 of the QCPD, for command responsibility,” Eleazar said.

On Wednesday afternoon, QCPD director Police Brigadier General Antonio Yarra announced that 82 out of 161 police officers in Talipapa station tested positive for the virus. He added 51 of these infected cops were assigned to different parts of Quezon City during President Rodrigo Duterte’s last SONA.

The infected cops were tapped even though they were still waiting for the results of their RT-PCR tests. According to Yarra, the cops were tested on July 23 and the results came out on July 27 and 28, respectively.

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Earlier, the QC City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) said that the cops were being probed for possible violations of quarantine ordinances.

“As per health protocols, all persons awaiting results from swabbing must undergo mandatory quarantine and any violation of this protocol is subject to RA 11332,” the QC CESU said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Breakdown of cases

In the breakdown of cases released by the QC local government, out of 82 COVID-19-positive cops, 74 were uniformed personnel, four were civilian employees, while four were police aides. Out of these cases, 57 were already fully-vaccinated. 

Among the infected cops, 48 were already admitted to quarantine facilities on July 27, while the remaining 34 were set to be admitted on Wednesday,

The city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will also conduct disinfection and decontamination procedures in the station and community precincts to avoid further infection.

Mayor Joy Belmonte also ordered the immediate vaccination of the remaining 536 unvaccinated personnel of the QCPD. – With a report from Dwight De Leon/

Jairo Bolledo

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