The transformation of Metro Manila in the time of COVID-19

More and more, President Duterte is giving the uniformed personnel a bigger role in the implementation of the Luzon-wide lockdown he imposed beginning March 16 to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that has rampaging in all parts of the world claiming lives of hundreds of thousands. In the Philippines, thousands have been afflicted. While over 600 have recovered, more than 500 have died.

The reactions to the high-profile presence of the members of Philippine National Police complete with trucks and even a tank in the streets of Metro Manila are mixed. Some felt protected, while others are intimidated.

The transformation of Metro Manila in the time of COVID-19 by Luis Liwanag from VERA Files on Vimeo.

Photojournalist Luis Liwanag covered the deployment of PNP’s elite Special Action Force in densely populated Blumentritt street in Sta. Cruz district in Metro Manila Wednesday (April 23) morning led by no less than Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the joint task force COVID-19 shield.

The mission of the PNP’s SAF is “To conduct operations as a Rapid Deployment Force anywhere in the country specifically in situations with national and international implications in the areas of counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, hostage rescue, search and rescue, civil disturbance management and other special operations.

One of the general principles that guide the PNP’s operations states: All personnel shall respect the human rights and dignity of the suspects during police operations.”


Metro Manila in the time of COVID-19

Beneath the silence of the streets devoid of moving vehicles, the feeling of anxiety, fear and…

Election Day in Metro Manila

Results of the city of Manila's electoral race provided more excitement.

Saved from being stranded by a mistake

I said a prayer of thanks when I finally got out of Philippine Air Lines flight 1782 from Puerto…

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at