AFP ready for troop re-deployment amid easing of quarantine rules

AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. (File photo)

MANILA: The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is ready to re-deploy its personnel following the easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and some parts of the country which took effect on Monday.

“We are prepared to deploy our personnel in relation to the changes in the local quarantine status,” said AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a message to reporters.

He added that these deployments will be done together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and in coordination with the local government units.

“No changes yet, but we will make adjustments in the distribution of AFP personnel as may be necessary based on the developments starting today (Monday), Arevalo said.

Aside from Metro Manila, Davao City, the regions of Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and the provinces of Albay and Pangasinan shifted to a general community quarantine (GCQ) to facilitate the gradual reopening of the economy, from the stringent two-month enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Meanwhile, Arevalo said they are ready to provide military vehicles to assist commuters affected by limited mass transport operations.

“The dispatch (of military vehicles), however, is based on the (advice) of MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority). They determine the location where there is a need to send our vehicles. This will also ensure that we do not add up to the traffic congestion in some areas,” he added.

On Monday, the AFP has dispatched six vehicles in Batasan and Philcoa area in Quezon City and 11 vehicles in other areas determined by the MMDA. 

“AFP chief, Gen. Filemon Santos Jr. commits to continue to provide commuter assistance in coordination with MMDA to alleviate the concerns of the riding public who might have encountered difficulties on the first day of GCQ in the NCR (National Capital Region). These are over and above the buses we have been providing for Health Workers since Day 1 of the lockdown to date,” Arevalo said.

GCQ start peaceful

Meanwhile, PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, said the first day of GCQ in Metro Manila and the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the rest of the country was generally peaceful and orderly.

This is based on field reports gathered by the PNP Command Center from police regional offices indicating generally peaceful peace and order situation nationwide.

Except for reports of stranded commuters due to inadequate public transportation, no other significant reports of major untoward incidents were recorded since the opening hours of June 1.

Gamboa has assured the high state of readiness of the PNP to extend maximum assistance to provide safety and security to all workers who will report back to work in the succeeding days. He also reminded the public that checkpoints, curfew, travel restrictions, strict enforcement of physical distancing, and minimum health standards will remain enforced in all areas under GCQ and MGCQ. 

(with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA/ Priam Nepomuceno/ SRNY/ RSP)

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