Nearly 30,000 quarantine violators arrested nationwide in a month

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — A month into the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine and similar lockdowns in other areas, nearly 30,000 violators had been arrested nationwide, according to data from the Philippine National Police.

From March 17, day one of the Luzon-wide lockdown, until April 17, a total of 29,632 individuals had been arrested, based on a document released by the PNP on Saturday.

Of this number, 6,616 underwent inquest, 23,016 were for regular filing, while 4,457 remain detained. The Department of Justice had previously issued general rules for the conduct of "e-inquest," or virtual inquest proceedings, to prosecutors through online and video platforms.

Those arrested were among the 126,302 total violators recorded by the PNP nationwide in the past 32 days. Some 70 percent or 91,225 of them were let off with a warning, while 5,445 were fined.

Luzon had the biggest number of recorded violators with 77,258, after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island under enhanced community quarantine, ordering most residents to stay home to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Other local government units have enforced their own lockdown guidelines.

Some 23,221 individuals were apprehended in the Visayas and 25,823 in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, 9,245 public utility vehicles were apprehended nationwide amid the suspension of mass transport in Luzon and other areas.

The PNP also arrested a total of 713 people nationwide for hoarding, profiteering and manipulation of the prices of goods amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Luzon-wide quarantine has been extended until April 30 amid daily spikes in coronavirus cases. The number of COVID-19 cases rose to 5,878 on Friday, with 387 deaths and 487 recoveries.

Duterte earlier warned of a police and military "takeover" should people continue to break quarantine measures. The PNP and the military have expressed their readiness to follow the President's orders.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases plans to submit its recommended post-April 30 strategy to the President by next week.