A Philippine Army (PA) corporal and his sister who sneaked into Bohol on board a pumpboat at dawn on Friday to pay their last respects to their mother who passed away just a day earlier were intercepted by authorities in Getafe town.
According to Getafe Police Station chief Lieutenant Nelson Lodripas, the siblings and the soldier’s wife who is a nurse were caught as they disembarked from a pumpboat at the Getafe Wharf. They were spotted by barangay officials who then alerted the police.
Inbound travel to Bohol is prohibited until August 31, 2021 as mandated by Governor Art Yap’s Executive Order No. 40.
Based on the EO, those traveling for “medical and humanitarian” reasons are exempted from the travel ban. However, clearance from local government units and other concerned government agencies are needed.
Lodripas said the three individuals who had come from Lapu-Lapu City had with them negative COVID-19 test results but lacked other documents to prove they had permission to enter Bohol amid the border closure.
“Atong nasuta na nikawat gyud ni sila og dunggo diri. Naa man hinuon silay mga swab na negative, ma-consider gani unta siya og APOR, ang problema lang wa siya nakig-coordinate,” the police chief said.
Lodripas clarified that the trio was not arrested but the police will be filing charges against them for violating Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-007.
Authorities did not divulge the identities of the persons who are all from La Victoria, Trinidad pending the filing of the complaints.
According to Getafe police investigator Corporal Ruel Botero, the soldier’s mother died of a heart attack at 10 a.m. on Thursday and the flagged individuals were supposed to visit her wake at a funeral home in Baclayon town.
“Luoy pud pero unsaon ta man sayop man ilang pamaagi sa pag-ari diri, lockdown pa man ang Bohol karon kinahanglan man g’yud ta mo sunod ta sa atong protocol diri sa Bohol,” said Botero.
He added that the group travelled from Samar to Cebu then to Bohol.
Meanwhile, authorities were not able to catch the pumpboat which transported the three individuals to Bohol as it immediately fled the area after dropping off the passengers.
The trio was immediately placed under isolation then turned over to the Rural Health Unit of Trinidad.
Trinidad Mayor Judith Cajes confirmed that the three persons were placed in an isolation center in Barangay La Victoria.
She said they would likely be quarantined for 14 days but she was still unsure if they will be cleared earlier if they yield negative RT-PCR test results. (R. Tutas)