Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (File photo)
MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is not bothered by a petition challenging the Supreme Court (SC) to issue temporary restraining order to stop the task force from imposing quarantine restrictions on senior citizens amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“The IATF cannot be bothered by this suit,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.
Roque, also spokesperson of IATF-EID, said the retired government official has the right to file the petition that also questioned the IATF-EID’s authority to pass mandatory policies.
“Karapatan niya iyan, pero naninindigan po ang IATF na iyong prohibition po sa galaw ng mga (That’s his rights but the IATF remains firm that prohibition on the movement of) seniors is borne by science and medicine,” he said. “Sa buong daigdig po, ang mga tinatamaan at namamatay sa Covid-19 ay ang mga seniors at mayroong (Worldwide, those infected and died due to Covid-19 were seniors and there are) comorbidities, and that is a scientific fact.”
Roque, a former law professor, said one of the acknowledged powers of the state is the police power.
“At ang basehan po sa pag-exercise ng police power ay iyong pangalagaan ang kalusugan mismo ng mga seniors (And the basis of exercising police power is to protect the health of the senior citizens),” Roque said. “So itong kaso po, bagama’t hindi natin pinapangunahan ang Supreme Court, tingin ko po ay wala pong mangyayari diyan (So this case, though we are not interfering on Supreme Court, I think, will not prosper happen).”
He reminded the petitioner that prohibiting the senior citizens from going outside of their residence except for work and to procure necessities “is for your own benefit.”
“It is to protect your lives amidst the proven fact po na ang mga namamatay sa Covid-19, karamihan po (that many of those who died Covid-19 are), senior citizens,” Roque said.
Aside from the retired government official who filed the petition on September 14, a group of jeepney drivers on Tuesday also challenged the SC to rule against the government’s preference for modernized jeepneys in the gradual return of public transport. (PNA)