Duterte calls police to ‘sacrifice’ as PNP to be tapped in contact tracing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11) - President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the country’s policemen to “sacrifice” and be part of the solution as the Philippine National Police will be tapped as contact tracers.

Duterte said that PNP has the resources, especially vehicles, to help in tracing more than 30 contacts of an infected person.

“People doing the contact tracing have to travel to the place where the person in question resides. Kailangan nito ng sasakyan (It requires to have a vehicle),” said Duterte during his late Monday night address.

He added, “The police have the resources, pati yung barangay captain (as well as the barangay captain), na malaman nila kung saan nakatira (to know where the person lives). That would be the fastest way doing the tracing.”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque first bared the plan last week, citing Baguio City’s efforts of tapping local policemen to trace and monitoring persons who came in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

The Department of Health earlier said that it needs around 150,000 contact tracers to contain the spread of coronavirus.

With this new effort by the government amid the pandemic, Duterte assured cops of his support saying that he would take care of the cases filed against them.

Mga pulis ko, total wala kayong masasabi sa akin, full support ako sa inyo,” he said. “Yung mga kaso ninyo na duty-connected, wag kayong magalala, dedepensahan ko kayo. Maghintay lang kayo, basta tutulungan ko kayong lahat.

[Translation: To my policemen, because you have nothing to say against me, I have your full support. The cases related to your duties, don’t worry, I will defend you. Just wait, I will surely help all of you.]