Following the order for stricter enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine, soldiers and police personnel started arresting violators from different parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, according to reports on Unang Balita on Wednesday.
In Maricaban, Pasay City, five residents of Barangay 178 were arrested by military personnel after they failed to wear a face mask and observe curfew hours, according to Jonathan Andal's report.
One of the arrested residents said he was just sleeping in front of his house. He said he did not know that it was prohibited. He was brought to the barangay hall.
The other four were arrested on Tuesday after they were caught walking around without face masks and quarantine passes during the window hours.
Barangay Captain Virgilio Mabag said the residents were hard to manage especially those suspected to be involved in illegal drugs.
"Akala nila laro-laro lang ‘yung ginagawa, hindi nila sineseryoso kasi ‘yung iba po medyo ano sa drugs. Sila ang mahirap sawayin,” he said.
Soldiers are manning the streets in the barangay. According to Mabag, more residents are now staying at home.
In North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), some Philippine Army personnel joined the Philippine National Police in screening passing vehicles, according to James Agustin's report.
They checked vehicles in special lanes like ambulances as well as in the rapid pass checkpoint where they scan QR codes in mobile phones to determine whether the motorists are authorized to travel.
Some of the motorists appreciated the stricter checkpoint in NLEX.
“Mas maganda po kasi nasi-secure ang bawat isa, though medyo mas matagal po ‘yung process. At least secure lahat ng papasok at lalabas,” Dennis Cayabyab said.
“Okay lang po for safety din kasi ‘yung iba nakakalusot e,” Rey Noron said.
Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar ordered the team to arrest residents who would violate ECQ rules.
“With your presence, at magpapatuloy pa rin sila sa paglabag sa mga alituntunin ng ECQ , hulihin niyo,” he told uniformed personnel.
The Special Action Force (SAF), meanwhile, assured the public that the operation against insurgency is not being overlooked even with the designation of some of their members reassigned to ECQ enforcement.
In Trece Martires, Cavite, a combat unit of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) was tasked to monitor the streets in the city.
They arrested some residents who have no valid reason to go out amid the stay-at-home order. Some of them failed to present required documents and wear face mask. One of the violators was even caught with alcoholic drinks.
The arrested residents received lectures on COVID-19 and ECQ. After four hours, they were released. However, in case they are arrested again they will be detained overnight.
Meanwhile in Bacoor, Cavite, the local government drew circles with paint in Zapote Market. All shoppers in line have to step on each circle to observe social distancing, according to Bam Alegre's report.
The so-called circle of life, referenced to the movie The Lion King, was also used to observe a meter distance between shoppers in pharmacies, banks, and remittance centers.
Aside from this, the local government designated schedules for each barangay when they can go to the market to control the number of people. It said the flow of shoppers is now more organized.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier asked local officials to craft measures to minimize crowding at markets, pharmacies, and grocery stores to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In Quezon City, the Galas Police Station arrested four violators in Barangay Mariana who were caught playing card games.
“Kasi wala po ibang mapaglibangan. Kasi sa bahay higa lang kami nang higa .Eh may sakit akong highblood, gusto kong maglibang,” one of the violators said.
They were punished through community service and later released.
Quezon City Police District deputy station commander Police Captain Randy Llanderal reminded that these violations will be dealt with direct filing of charges.
"May kaso po ‘yan. Hindi po natin ‘yan hahayaan kasi nga ‘yung iba binabalewala. Magugulat na lang sila merong darating sa kanilang subpoena,” Llandertal said.
The Galas Police Station only has a capacity of 40 persons for detention. They are already holding 50 detainees.
Meanwhile in Bagumbayan, the Eastwood Police Station arrested a violator after using a quarantine pass of a different person.
"’Yung una ko ho nawala. Nawala po ng isa kong kasama kaya kumuha po siya. Pinalitan, pangalan niya,” he said.
A security guard was also arrrested after he forgot to take his mask with him when he left his duty.
"Nakalimutan lang po. Galing ako ng duty pero suot ko ‘yung face mask doon. Hinubad ko tapos nakalimutan ko pagbalik,” he explained.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Melchor Rosales of Eastwood Police Station said there will be no more warning for residents who will violate the ECQ measures.
“Wala na pong warning. Hulihan na po ngayon,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to a report of Allan Gatus on 24 Oras News Alert, Quezon City’s Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) also arrested violators along Aurora Boulevard.
Most of the violators failed to present quarantine pass to the authorities after buying some items from convenience stores and markets.
Some of the violators were standing by the streets defying the stay-at-home order.
They were boarded on a bus and some vehicles of the DPOS.
According to DPOS chief Elmo San Diego, the city government strictly ordered to have a consistent monitoring on the streets in light of the ECQ. — KBK/RSJ, GMA News