General Guillermo Eleazar, the chief of the Philippine National Police said Thursday he fired a police officer who deployed troops pending their COVID test results. They later turned out positive for the virus.
Out of 82 Quezon City policemen deployed during President Rodrigo Duterte's last SONA who tested positive for the coronavirus, 51 were from the QCPD Police Station 3 (Talipapa), the city government said. They were assigned as route security, and not in direct contact with the public, the station commander said.
"In view of the apparent breach of protocol when most of these PNP personnel were deployed for SONA duties even if they were still waiting for their RT-PCR results, I have already ordered the administrative relief of the Station Commander, Police Station 3 of the QCPD, for command responsibility," Eleazar said.
The PNP is awaiting the RT-PCR results of 167 other personnel.
Elazar also urged the public to stop speculating on whether the infected policemen got the more contagious Delta variant, and called out some personalities for the "unneccesary and insensitive comments" about the incident.
"Hindi makatwiran at hindi makatao na hamakin pa ang ating kapulisan sa kabila ng kanilang sinapit dahil halos lahat ng mga pulis na tinamaan ng COVID ay dahil naman sa pagtupad ng kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin," he said.
The Quezon City government said it had identified the close contacts of the COVID-positive policemen. They will be isolated in Camp Karingal.
Mayor Joy Belmonte also ordered for the immediate vaccination of the other policemen assigned in the city.