The chiefs of police of the 18 Municipal Police Stations (MPS) in Antique have been directed to apprehend curfew violators without warning starting Thursday evening.
Lt. Col. Norby Escobar, Antique Police Provincial Office Deputy Director for Operations, said in an interview they had already received a directive from the Police Regional Office (PRO 6) to implement “physical arrest” of curfew violators immediately without warning.
“The directive actually comes from Philippine National Police chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa to conduct immediate physical arrest without warning,” he said.
He said that apart from curfew violators, they would also arrest those who are not using a face mask, which is now mandatory, and those who do not observe physical distancing.
Antique has been observing curfew hours, from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. starting March 17, as mandated under Executive Order 35 signed by Governor Rhodora Cadiao.
Executive Order 40 made it mandatory the use of face mask in public places.
Meanwhile, from March 17 to April 22m the police had already apprehended 116 persons due to curfew violations. Escobar said that the apprehension reports came from 13 police stations.
He said of the 116 apprehensions, 88 persons were warned, one was fined, seven under inquest, and 20 are for regular filing of their cases in the court.
Persons apprehended due to curfew, like in Sibalom and Culasi towns, were made to hold vigil in front of empty coffins placed in the gymnasiums and were released after the curfew hours.
The curfew had been implemented to make the people stay at home early to prevent the spread of coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19). (PNA)