The Philippine National Police warned those who will hold Christmas parties this year of arrest as part of public safety efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease.
“Parties have been prohibited so, of course, we will have [partygoers] arrested,” said national police chief Gen. Debold Sinas.
The general drew flak in May for hosting an early morning party on his birthday in the middle of a government lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Sinas said Christmas dinners will be allowed as long as health measures are observed, adding that local police commanders can decide on how to implement the protocol.
“(A) dinner is a party. But you have to observe the required (protocols). So I would leave it to the commanders for their decision on this,” he said.
The general said that this year only a few “Santa cops,” policemen dressed as Santa Claus, will be deployed.
“I did not discourage the Santa cops but I also do not encourage [their deployment],” he said. “What we are directing for our units [is] to deploy social distancing [patrollers].”
He said Santa cops can, however, “entertain people, catch their attention, and give them reminders [on health rules].”