Bacolod tops ECQ violators in Western Visayas; drug trade going strong despite pandemic

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – This highly-urbanized city with more than half a million people had the most number of Enhanced Community Quarantine violators two weeks after shutdowns were declared in various provinces in the region.

BCPO spokesman Colonel Ariel Pico. | PIO Bacolod photo.
BCPO spokesman Colonel Ariel Pico. | PIO Bacolod photo.

Local police spokesman Ariel Pico told DNX at least 1,650 violators have been arrested for violations of ECQ provisions, including curfew protocols.

“We are number one in the region,” Pico said as he pointed out that this development has both good and bad sides.

It is good if we look at it as an accomplishment for the police, “it means we are doing our job,” Pico said. (READ: Word War Z: Pico warns of deadly “infodemic” spreading in city)

But viewed within the overall context of the ECQ, it only means that people “are not yet fully aware of the need to stay in their homes, that defying the ECQ puts themselves and the community at risk,” he added.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia had said earlier that with more than 150,000 households here, the city is the largest in terms of population size in Region 6 that includes six provinces under which are 16 cities and 117 towns

Pico also noted that Banago village has the most number of persons arrested, followed by Mansilingan and Sum-ag.

Banago has the highest number of suspected shabu seizures last year with an estimated money value of P13. 1 million.

This means the peddling of illegal drugs continue even amid a crisis, Pico said.

Under the extended ECQ in the city, a general curfew period is in effect from 10pm to 4am.

Only those with home quarantine passes can buy essentials between the 4am to 10pm period.

Mass public transport has also been suspended and only essential businesses have been allowed to open.

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