NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
The police officer who managed to sneak into the province in the previous weekends will be facing charges for violating the no-sail policy and other government policies related to the community quarantine being implemented in Bohol.
The erring police officer was identified as PSSg. SandroTandugon, a resident of Tagbilaran City who is assigned at the PSG Regional Office in Cebu.
Since his family is in Tagbilaran City, Tandugon had to come home every weekend through Catagbacan Port in Loon.
This clearly violated the no-sail policy and the executive orders issued by the governor.
The governor’s Executive Order 8 issued on March 13, suspended all domestic air and sea travel of passengers bound for Bohol from March 16 until 11:59 p.m. of March 20 to give the province a period to prepare and institute measures to address the ongoing threat of Covid-19.
On March 19, the governor issued EO 14 to extend the ban of inbound travels up to April 12.
On April 8, the governor issued EO 22 to further suspend domestic air and sea travel of passengers bound for Bohol until 11:59 p.m. of April 30.
Upon learning about the report, Gov. Art Yap asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to explain Tandugon’s violations.
The governor pointed out that there must be no holy cow in the implementation of the government orders and issuances that lay down precautionary measures against Covid-19 and charges should be filed against violators.
The security cluster of the Provincial Emergency Response Administration (PEMA) immediately convened at Camp Dagohoy yesterday to tackle the issue.
The controversy cropped up when Tandugon questioned why the Philippine Coast Guard intercepted him when he had been doing it every weekend.
It was also only then that Police Provincial Director Jonathan Cabal knew about it.
In trying to persuade the PCG personnel, Tandugon had been name-dropping, claiming he had a certification allowing a weekend pass issued by the city health officer, Dr. JeiaPondoc.
Tandugon also claimed that he had clearance from Assistant Provincial Health Officer Cesar Tomas Lopez.
The truth was,Pondoc never issued him a clearance.
It was learned that Tandugon was already in Loon when he called Pondoc at almost midnight.
Since Tandugon is a resident of Tagbilaran City, Pondoc was contacted after reaching out to the municipal health officer of Loon and Lopez proved futile.
Considering that it was almost midnight already, Pondoc did not go to Loon but inquired from the nurse-on-duty.
The nurse allegedly said Tandugon had complete clearance.
Pondoc proceeded to Loon early in the morning and asked Tandugon to show the documents so that she could trace who really gave the clearance documents.
Pondoc pointed out that they had been exerting an effort to implement precautionary measures just so Bohol would remain Covid-free and some people would just issue a clearance.
It turned out that Tandugon had no written clearance to present.