LGUs told they cannot impose checkpoints with coordinating with police: DILG
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminded local government officials they cannot impose checkpoints without coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya made the statement Tuesday after they received reports some areas in Luzon does not allow cargoes and delivery trucks to pass through their checkpoints despite guidelines from the inter-agency task force (IATF) to allow the entry of goods service.
Malaya said they also received reports that some barangay officials manning checkpoints are preventing health workers to pass and some were even asking money.
“Our rules to our barangay (officials are) they cannot impose a checkpoint without coordinating from the PNP because the barangay officials has no idea who are authorized persons outside of residence… Only the police personnel know that that is why they cannot impose their own checkpoints,” he said in a radio interview.
He also told the PNP to only follow the guidelines issued by the national government and not local government units.
“I think there are also different signals coming from the LGUs that is why I will take this opportunity, first of all for our police personnel, you take your instructions from the President (Rodrigo Duterte) not from the local government officials,” Malaya said.
He reminded all persons manning checkpoints that health workers should not be stop from entering and exiting checkpoints, and also cargos and delivery trucks.
“Based on the guidelines released by the COVID task force, two (personnel) were allowed per cargo but some LGUs are hard-headed only allowing one truck personnel,” he said.
Malaya admitted they are having a hard time with the actions of some LGU officials.
“At the end of the day, the one we should follow is president,” he said.
“The DILG is appealing to our governors and mayors not to bypass the guidelines given by the president and IATF because the national government is thinking of the national interest but your interest is local so we have to balance,” he said.
For the PNP, they also think that measures being taken by some LGUs is a challenge.
“Actually what we can see on the field as problem, for example is the eagerness of other LGUs and barangay to implement their own measures but we are immediately fixing this issue in coordination with our joint task force,” said Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, in a press briefing.
Eleazar said the strict implementation of LGUs on their own measures contradicts the basic guidelines of IATF.
“That’s why the PNP, since we are the one manning the different quarantine control points all over the Philippines we have continuous coordination on this. In case there will be a problem we can immediately tap the help of (Interior) Secretary Eduardo Ano so we can fix any misunderstanding between the LGUs and PNP knowing that our commanders on the field, chief of police, provincial directors are under the operational control and supervision of our local government executives,” he said.
The entire Luzon has been under the enhanced community quarantine since last week following a directive of Duterte as measure to stop the spreading of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
With this being implemented, entry and exit points in cities and municipalities are being strictly observed.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), the total number of confirmed cases as of Tuesday reached 501 with 33 fatalities and 19 recovered patients. Ella Dionisio/DMS