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Gamboa warns PUVs still operating amid 'enhanced quarantine' will be impounded

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General  Archie Francisco Gamboa on Tuesday warned that public transport vehicles, which will be caught operating amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, would be impounded.

“Sinabihan ko kanina ang Highway Patrol specific na hulihin niyo lahat, kung kailangan i-impound natin, of course problema na naman saan i-impound... so that the people will just see really we will enforce the law,” Gamboa said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

According to Gamboa, he would ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to come up with an official order stating the temporary suspension of all mass transport vehicles.

“Necessarily meron naman silang calibration of offenses, the first time you do it, the second time there's suspension... so part of my input later, probably LTFRB would really come up with a clear order that all are suspended so that 'pag na-apprehend, it is not only the ticket that they're going to face,” Gamboa explained

“They're also going to face administrative charges on the part of their franchise kasi napaka-simple naman sanang 'wag magbiyahe,” he added.

For the meantime, the PNP Highway Patrol Group allowed those taxi drivers who were caught operating to go home.

“Kukuhanin natin 'yung company name ng taxi operator, kukuhanin natin 'yung name ng driver, plate number tapos pipicturan natin 'yung driver's license, and then puwede na natin silang i-release,” PNP HPG director Police Brigadier General Eliseo Cruz told reporters.

“For the meantime, walang impounding. Babala ko na lang sa mga susunod na araw baka ganoon na ang maging kautusan sa amin,” Cruz added.

Meanwhile, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac also clarified that no arrest would be made against the drivers.

“No arrest for now. They should go home now,” Banac said.

Arrest would be made only if they show “blatant disrespect or disobedience to authorities such as speeding away when flagged down,” Banac said.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) noted that under the enhanced community quarantine, operations of mass public transport such as buses, jeepneys, taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), UV Express, Point-to-Point buses, and motorcycle taxis will be canceled.

This is effective from March 17 until April 13, the DOTr said.

President Rodrigo Duterte decided to place the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Under this set-up, there will be a heightened presence of government forces who will man control points in the country's largest island. MDM/AOL, GMA News