By Jeffrey Damicog
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has called on lawyers to ensure that the rights of the people are protected while law enforcement and the military enforce community quarantine measures against the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa pointed out lawyers should not only give “legal advice on the rights and duties regarding enhanced community quarantine.”
“Give back to our society and put their mind at ease that, we, lawyers, are here, on-call and ready to provide legal assistance in safeguarding our rights against any improper implementation of the tasks of those called to ensure the communities’ quarantine,” he said.
President Duterte signed Proclamation No. 292 last Monday, March 16, placing the country under a state of calamity for six months and imposing a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had previously warned the public that persons who defy the measures under the enhanced community quarantine could face charges.
“So, I plead with everyone to just simply give your cooperation,” Guevarra said earlier, adding that charges could be filed depending on the situation.
Among these, Guevarra said a person could be arrested and charged for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Guevarra added violators could also be charged for “non-cooperation” under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 11332, the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.