It is not only the police who are at fault for the failure to observe social distancing at the Manila Bay Sands over the weekend even though the threat of COVID-19 is still there, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan said on Monday.
At a press conference, Cascolan underscored that what happened should be a lesson for everybody. He also emphasized that command responsibility is being observed in the police force, which was also the reason why Ermita Police chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caramoan was removed from his position.
"I'd like to be frank. Hindi lang ho pulis ang may kasalanan dito. Lahat tayo. Dapat matuto tayo. Sa amin po sa kapulisan, we will always follow the rule of law. And when we follow the rule of law, we have no choice; it's command responsibility. I emphasize command responsibility during my first speeches," Cascolan said.
"Mahirap po talaga para sa kapulisan pero wala po kaming magagawa. Kailangan matuto po ang komunidad sa ginawa po namin. Siguro naman ho sasabihin niyo sa amin mali yata 'yun. Pero dapat isipin ninyo, saan din kayo nagkamali. Dapat hindi na-relieve 'yung aming kapulisan kung ginawa namin ang tama," he added.
Cascolan directed the relief of Caramoan for his failure to enforce social distancing among those who visited Manila Bay Sands, the "beautified white sand" portion of the bay, over the weekend.
According to Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Caramoan could have prevented the quarantine violations at the Manila Bay if there was prior planning and regular monitoring of the area.
A huge number of individuals showed up at the opening of Manila Bay Sands adorned with crushed dolomite rocks.
Aside from failing to practice social distancing, some of those who went there reportedly had no face masks or face shields.
The area has been closed on Monday for continued rehabilitation work, and authorities banned picture taking even from the footbridge overlooking the Manila Bay Sands. —KG, GMA News