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PNP aids DTI in enforcing prize freeze in Abra
POLICE have moved to assist the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in implementing the price freeze for basic commodities in quake-ravaged Abra province pursuant to the Republic Act 7581 or the Philippine Price Act, officials said on Tuesday.
Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. also ordered police personnel in quake-hit areas to continue their all-out campaign against criminality despite reeling from the effects of the calamity.
“We are being challenged by this natural disaster but our fighting spirit won’t falter. We must show strength during this trying time,” said Danao who remained as PNP-OIC until official orders for the assumption of new PNP chief, Lt. Gen. Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. is released by Malacañang.
As of press time, authorities said that the July 28 earthquake have killed at least 10 and injured over 150 others.
“My instruction is to assist in the rescue and response even up to now that aftershocks are still recorded. But our officers must remember that they are duty-bound to continue operating so peace and order won’t be a casualty,” Lt. Gen. Danao reminded all concerned PNP personnel.
According to the official, since Abra was already placed under a state of calamity in the wake of the strong earthquake last July 27, it is imperative to keep the prevailing prices of basic necessities as per the DTI order.
“The PNP is tasked to aid in the enforcement of the mandate within the jurisdiction of the LGU concerned. We also take part in monitoring market activities against hoarding, profiteering, price manipulation and unfair trade practices,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
The PNP-OIC said he has directed all police units and stations in Abra to coordinate with the DTI in implementing the order.
“If we receive report regarding any possible violation, then we will work hand-in-hand with the DTI and LGUs to check on the veracity of the alleged illegal act and conduct operations if such complaint warrants immediate action,” Danao said.
Business establishments proven to have violated the price freeze shall be imposed with a fine amounting from P5,000 to P1,000,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of 1-year to 10- years.
“This is high time to show unity and compassion, instead of taking advantage of the situation resulting to committing criminal acts. We encourage our kababayans to immediately report to us cases of hoarding, massive price increase and other forms of blatant profiteering. We will act on it immediately in coordination with DTI,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
The PNP-OIC added they are checking the condition of policemen directly-affected by the earthquake.
“They will undergo necessary debriefing so they can work productively without any reservations. We also consider the welfare of our personnel,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.