MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will "support" the Philippine National Police in enforcing the lockdown of Metro Manila that will begin at midnight on Sunday, March 15.
An effort to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further, the so-called "community quarantine" of the capital region may last until April 14, although the government said it may be lifted earlier if the need for it dissipates.
On Saturday afternoon, hours before the start of the lockdown, the AFP shared these videos of its Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) rehearsing their procedures in inspecting motorists at checkpoints. One of the videos shows how they would respond to a person who might resist being barred from either entering or leaving the metropolis. (READ: LIST: Who can cross into, exit Metro Manila during coronavirus lockdown)
"This is how it will look like when the community quarantine is implemented for the passenger bus and private vehicles when they enter the borders going to Manila. So we recommend that it is better if they will follow the sitting capacity of the bus on their every journey to avoid stalling at checkpoints," said AFP JTF-NCR spokesperson 1st Lieutenant Arrianne Bichara.
The following video shows soldiers boarding a bus and checking the passengers' body temperature.
The next video demonstrates how soldiers will approach a car to check its driver and passengers for symptoms, and to determine whether they could be allowed to proceed.
Apprehension of violator
In this third video, soldiers demonstrate how they would prevent a person from trying to dodge a checkpoint.
The military task force "will strictly impose protocols." Civilians who have a fever or show other possible symptoms of the virus, or those who have no urgent business in Metro Manila will be prohibited by troops from proceeding.
"Just in case may magtatangka po na hindi huminto sa checkpoints, may mga naka-position po tayong mga military and armored vehicles para harangan 'yung mga magtatangka na magpumilit pumasok, and sanctions will be imposed dun sa mga ayaw makipag-cooperate," Bichara added.
(Just in case anyone tries to ignore checkpoints, there will be military and armored vehicles in place to cut those who will insist on entering, and sanctions will be imposed on those who refuse to cooperate.)
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the military would not participate in drafting the guidelines of the government's "community quarantine," and that it will only support the police in enforcing it because the military has no police powers. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.