March 24, 2023

Cargo vehicles entering Baguio City will be opened and inspected at the dedicated control points by the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) to deter attempts to smuggle people through the city’s borders.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said HPG Director Ely Cruz informed him that he directed Lt/Col. Wilson Denamarca, HPG chief of Regional Highway Patrol Unit Cordillera, to intensify the inspections of all cargo vehicles passing through the dedicated control points established by HPG.

Magalong requested the HPG to take action after the Baguio City Police Office thwarted an attempt to sneak in three persons without travel permit, April 18.

BCPO Director Col. Allen Rae Co said a random check of a cargo truck at their checkpoint at Marcos Highway yielded three persons who are residents of Irisan, Kias, and San Luis being sneaked in by the cargo truck of H&E Fruits & Vegetables Trading bearing license plate WKL 965.

Co said that persistent reports of similar incidents were received from staff members of the mayor but they could not conduct inspections because of orders restricting them from checking cargo trucks.

To confirm the report, the BCPO director ordered a spot check on one cargo truck and busted three persons right away who are now being investigated.

Magalong ordered the police to enforce measures to address this trickery, which he said is putting the city in danger as these persons have been evading quarantine protocols.

Co said two kinds of checkpoints are in place – quarantine control points and dedicated control points.

Quarantine control points are manned by policemen who are not allowed to check cargo trucks lest they hamper their movements while the dedicated control points under the HPG are allowed to properly check.

Since March 28, the city government closed its borders to non-essential travels and stranded residents from other provinces except Benguet to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The ban does not include deliveries of food, medicines, and other essential items. – Aileen P. Refuerzo