The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is concerned over the arrests made during the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health pandemic, since law enforcers are apparently not adhering to the government’s own health protocols.
CHR Spokesperson Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia cited the arrests made in a Makati bar for allegedly violating quarantine restrictions and during the Pride protest on Mendiola bridge in Manila.
She said the arrests during these two instances are a “cause of concern” because the law enforcers appear to have violated the government’s own health and safety guidelines, such as physical distancing.
“We urge law enforcers to adhere to the government’s own health protocols and serve as good examples for the rest of the citizens to follow,” said de Guia.
This reminder is timely as the Philippine National Police (PNP) noted a spike in the case of police officers testing positive for COVID-19. “It would then be to the benefit of our police officers to help curb the trend of possible more infections by being more conscious of their actions,” she said.
The CHR stressed that perpetrators of violations must be held accountable at all times. However, law enforcers also have a responsibility to put the human right to health at the center of all its efforts.
“The pandemic cannot be won through law enforcement policies alone,” de Guia said, “but rather by approaching this national crisis with a comprehensive approach that balances the rule of law, protecting the health of the nation, and upholding human rights.”