By Genalyn Kabiling
The government will not tolerate any violation of human rights during the implementation of the quarantine rules crucial to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Malacañang declared Sunday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said human rights must be protected and upheld “at all times” and that quarantine measures must be implemented “within the rule of law.”
Roque made the remarks following reports that some local government units (LGUs) allegedly violated the civil liberties of quarantine violators.
“Under the current circumstances we are in, the LGUs enforce the law as reasonably strict as possible for the full protection of our people. While such protection measures spell the difference between life and death, they are implemented well within the rule of law, and are respectful of the human dignity and human rights of everyone,” he said.
“In addition, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which supervises both the LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP), is committed to uphold human rights at all times and will not tolerate any violation during this period of ECQ,” he added.
According to Roque, the Palace has yet to get a full report on the alleged rights violations made by some local government units.
He said the Palace recognizes the local government units’ efforts to implement social distancing and other quarantine rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus. But he pointed out there have been “concerns on alleged human rights violations by LGUs against ECQ offenders who disobeyed the rules and health protocols.”
“As we are not fully aware of the details of such violations, we will appreciate receipt of detailed information of the same for proper action by the appropriate agencies,” he said.
The police recently reported that more than 125,000 people have either been arrested, fined and warned for violating the enhanced community quarantine.
President Duterte recently expressed dismay over the surge in quarantine violators and directed the military and police to be ready to enforce the social distancing measure and curfew. He said he would ask the security forces to “take over” if people won’t show discipline and continue to defy quarantine protocols.
The Palace meantime appealed anew to the public to cooperate with the government and follow the quarantine protocols.