The commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield called for respect to prevent violent confrontations between law enforcers and citizens amid the implementation of enhanced community quarantine regulations.
“The keyword is still respect. If we know how to respect one another, either we would not do provocative actions that could lead to confrontation or would learn how to deescalate a tension, either way, it is a win-win solution,” Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
Eleazar pointed out a simple formula for law enforcers and civilians to prevent arguments in this period of health crisis.
He said civilians should obey the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine and respect the law enforcers.
For the part of law enforcers, Eleazar said they should observe maximum tolerance and respect the rights of civilians.
Eleazar, who is also the Philippine National Police Deputy Chief for Operations, expressed confidence that if these are practiced by both parties, heated arguments will be avoided.
The PNP official’s remark came after authorities and civilians figured in physical altercations.
The latest incident was in Dasmariñas Village in Makati City where a policeman dragged a foreign resident to the ground after the latter verbally abused the authorities.
Another incident transpired at a posh condominium in Taguig City where policemen allegedly shouted at residents for alleged social distancing violations.
Eleazar then reminded the public that policemen and other law enforcers were just doing their duties in implementing safety measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“So please do not treat your police and other law enforcers as your enemy. Our enemy here is the coronavirus and the reason why your policemen and other law enforcers are on the streets 24/7 is they want to defeat the virus to protect you,” Eleazar said.
He, however, ensured that if there are cases of abuse of authority, concerned cops will be held liable for their actions.
Eleazar also said PNP chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa already reminded them about the human rights-based policing on strict enforcement of the ECQ. -NB, GMA News