The Quezon City government has released guidelines on arrests amid its intensified enforcement of health measures to combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Mayor Joy Belmonte issued the memorandum containing the latest procedures on apprehensions to ensure humane and uniform protocols following the marked increase in COVID-19 cases due to the shift to general community quarantine (GCQ).
“A marked increase in COVID-19 cases has been observed in Quezon City following the successive downgrading of community quarantine classifications covering the National Capital Region (NCR),” Belmonte said in her memorandum.
“Hence, there is a recognized need to implement, among others, heightened enforcement of quarantine measures such as the prevention of mass gatherings, social distancing, wearing of facemasks, etc,” she added.
The guidelines provide concerned offices of the city government, the Quezon City Police District and the barangays with proper and lawful instances where arrests can be made against violators of quarantine measures during GCQ and modified GCQ.
It also contains proper and lawful procedures in the disposition of the said arrests as covered by Rule 113, Section 5 (a) and (b) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Under the memorandum, arrests can be made by a peace officer or a private person while the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a violation of health-related ordinances on limited gatherings, social distancing, and mandatory wearing of face masks in public places, among others.
An arrest can also be carried out when an offense has just been committed, and the arresting officer has probable cause to believe, based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be arrested has committed it.
After booking procedures in the nearest police station, arrested violators will then be brought to the nearest government hospital or city-run hospital for medical and physical examinations before a proper investigation can commence.
The memorandum was addressed to all barangay chairmen, the district director and police station commanders of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and chairman and members of the Quezon City Incident Command System–Law and Order Cluster.
The heads of the Barangay and Community Relations Department (BCRD), Social Services and Development Department (SSDD), Quezon City Health Department (QCHD), directors of the Quezon City General Hospital, Novaliches District Hospital and Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital and the officer in charge of the Public Affairs and Information Services Department (PAISD) are also ordered to strictly implement the memorandum.