EIGHT members of the Bangsamoro Administrative Region Police Regional Office who were caught presenting fake RT-PCR tests as they were about to enter Zamboanga City last Monday are facing administrative charges for gross dishonesty which may result to their dismissal from the force, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said on Saturday.
This as the top cop ordered the filing of criminal and administrative charges against the eight who were caught presenting fake swab test results when they were being checked by local health officials at the Zamboanga City port.
“We have zero tolerance for this kind of shameful and unscrupulous act. Hindi natin palalagpasin ito. I am directing the PRO-BAR to look into this and lodge criminal as well as administrative charges against these PNP personnel,” the PNP chief said.
“Tayo ang tagapagpatupad ng batas kaya’t nararapat lang na tayo ang nangunguna sa pagsunod sa mga quarantine protocols na inilalabas ng gobyerno ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he added.
A report sent to the PNP chief showed that at least eight police officers from Isabela City and Lamitan, Basilan presented fake negative results of RT-PCR tests as they tried to enter Zamboanga City last July 5.
They were onboard MV Cassey Beatrise and MV Crystal Jane when intercepted by local health officials at the Zamboanga port. Upon verification, it was discovered that their COVID-19 test results were fake.
The police officers were fined, placed on quarantine and underwent swab testing before they were sent back to their respective ports of origin.
Criminal charges for violation of Section 9, Paragraph B (Tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation) of Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, will be slapped on the policemen.
Eleazar said this incident should serve as a reminder and stern warning to other police personnel to follow the law and set a good example for the public.
“Papaano tayo seseryosohin at rerespetuhin ng publiko kung tayo mismo ang hindi sumusunod sa batas? Being a policeman doesn’t mean we are above the law. Hindi tayo exempted sa pagsunod sa batas,” he said.