Cops ordered to monitor bars as violations of COVID-19 measures persist

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2020 01:47 PM

Isinakay sa police mobile ang ilan sa mga nahuling customers ng bar sa Tomas Morato sa Quezon City madaling araw ng Sabdo, Sept. 26, 2020. Pinalaya rin sila matapos na matikitan. Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Police commanders were ordered to strictly monitor their areas of responsibilities as more people are arrested in bars and beerhouses for violating anti-virus measures, the Joint Task Force against COVID-19 said Sunday.

Bars remain shut in areas under general community quarantine, but establishments are allowed by some local governments to serve a maximum number of alcoholic drinks.

“So any attempt to accept customers is already a clear violation of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19) guidelines and possibly even local ordinances,” said Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of JTF COVID Shield.

Police commanders are tasked to coordinate with local governments to ensure violators and establishments are fined and would face criminal charges, Eleazar said.

“There were already instances in the past of drinking sessions leading to mass infection. As responsible business people, they should follow the existing rules so that they will not add to the coronavirus infection problems," he said.

"And as responsible citizens, people should not really go to these places if they are mindful of their own and their family’s protection from the infection."

The Quezon City government on Saturday shut down a restobar on Tomas Morato in Quezon City after around 100 people were caught partying, ignoring COVID-19 protocols.

Authorities apprehend customers and employees of a bar in Quezon City before dawn Saturday for alleged violation of quarantine protocols. Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

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QC Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) chief Ret. Gen. Elmo San Diego, Task Force Disiplina head Rannie Ludovica, and Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) inspector Edgardo Bayabos served the closure order on Guilly’s Island night club for violating GCQ guidelines.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte warned other similar establishments such as night clubs and karaoke bars from operating amid the general community quarantine (GCQ).

“Binabalaan natin ang mga may-ari ng bar at nightclub na itigil na ang kanilang ilegal na ginagawa dahil mahuhuli at mahuhuli namin kayo,” Belmonte said in a statement.

(We warn owners of bars and nightclubs to stop illegal operations because we will catch you.)

Five foreigners and 34 others were also arrested last week for drinking inside a bar in Makati, which prohibits alcohol consumption outside private residences.

The Philippines as of Saturday reported 301,256 cases of COVID-19, with 232,906 recoveries and 5,284 deaths.