Curfew violators fined, minors banned outdoor

Police arrested 1,449 people for violating curfew in Metro Manila during the first night of its implementation Monday.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Tuesday most of the arrests were in Manila, where 1,139 people were caught violating the curfew hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lt. Gen. Hawthorne Binag said 547 curfew violators were merely warned and later released, while others were fined.

The Metro Manila Council agreed last week to implement the uniform curfew hours in the National Capital Region starting March 15.

In Pasay City, which imposed its own curfew on March 12, police arrested 448 people for being outside their homes during the restricted hours.

City police commander Cesar Paday-os said most of those arrested said they merely went out of their houses to buy something while said they did not know a curfew was in place.

Mayor Imelda Rubiano issued an executive order last week imposing a curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. effective March 12.

The order came before the 17 mayors in Metro Manila arrived at a unified curfew policy aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Rubiano said there was an urgent need to strictly impose the curfew hour to discourage people from going out to minimize the risk of contracting the disease.

In Pasay, the names of first-time offenders will be recorded in their barangays. For the second offense, violators will be fined P3,000.

Third-time offenders will be fined P5,000.

All those arrested will be issued citation tickets fro the Office of the City Treasurer and must pay the fine within 24 hours to avoid being criminally prosecuted.

Local enforcers arrested 2,501 quarantine violators from March 1 up to noon of March 16.

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reminded the public that minors in Metro Manila are prohibited from going outside their residences for two weeks starting March 17.

MMDA chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. said only those between 18 and 65 are allowed to go outside their homes amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.

He said members of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) had banned minors from going outdoors for two weeks.

“We are implementing age restrictions because of the increase in our COVID-19 cases. We encourage everyone to strictly observe and practice the minimum health protocols, and be extra careful and follow stringent measures particularly when around vulnerable family members, as there have been reports of transmission among family members,” Abalos said.

Last month, Abalos said NCR mayors agreed to ease age restrictions as the government sought to encourage economic activities.

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