Vera Cruz is new JTF COVID-19 Shield commander

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 21) — Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz has been named as the new commander of the Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield.

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday said his designation as task force commander was effective Tuesday. He also took over on April 20 as the new deputy chief for operations, the third highest post in the PNP.

Vera Cruz replaced PltGen. Cesar Binag, who will retire on April 24 and who served as the unit's head since November last year.

"As the new commander of this task force, I expect PLtGen. Vera Cruz will continue the plans and programs of the previous commander and enforce strict quarantine rules in the country to mitigate the spread of the virus while waiting for the available vaccines", PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said in a statement.

JTF COVID-19 Shield is the national government's enforcement arm in the implementation of quarantine rules and protocols. It is made up of members of the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.