Gov’t has ‘power to control’ quarantine movement: PRRD

Gov’t has ‘power to control’ quarantine movement: PRRD

MANILA – The national government has the “power to control” the movement of people, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday, lamenting how many Filipinos continued to violate quarantine protocols.

In a pre-recorded meeting with Cabinet members in Davao City, Duterte said he could “calibrate” the government’s Covid-19 response if Filipinos in areas with a surge in Covid-19 cases refuse to adhere to minimum public health standards.

“As we go along in this journey ridding the pandemic from our country, we will adopt measures that will be commensurate to the gravity of the situation,” he said.

He noted how he personally saw how people in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao saw an upward trend in Covid-19 cases due to failure to observe quarantine protocols.

“Gaya ng (Just like) Mindanao, Mindanao then Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro. Nakita ko talaga (I can really see it)…I passed by the place while going home to Mindanao, na ang mga tao, balewala, parang walang nangyari. Parang walang sakit (that people there ignore it, it’s like nothing happened. It’s like there’s no disease),” he said.

Although he noted that they may not be intentionally roaming about to spread the virus, Duterte said failure to comply with quarantine protocols would have serious consequences.

“We might calibrate our response to the intransigence that you will show. Depende sa ano ninyo…kung talagang ayaw ninyo sumunod then we can go into…marami (If you really don’t want to adhere to quarantine protocols, we can go into many adjustments),” he said.

Duterte, however, did not elaborate what he meant by “calibrating” the government’s pandemic response.

“I could…ayaw ko lang sabihin (I don’t want to say it) but…we have the power to control it, actually. Kung ginusto lang namin pahirapan ang tao (If we only wanted to give people a difficult time),” he added.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, in the same meeting, suggested stiffer penalties for quarantine violators aside from charging them with reckless imprudence.

“Kung ito pong taong ito, despite the fact na alam niya na nga ang pinagbabawal, e ganun pa rin ang gagawin niya, puwede po siyang idemanda ng pagresist o hindi pagsunod sa mga persons in authority or dun sa mga agents of the persons in authority while in the performance of duty (If this is this person, despite the fact that he already knows what is prohibited, he will still do the same, he can be sued for resisting or disobeying the persons in authority or the agents of the persons in authority while in the performance of duty),” Panelo said.

He said quarantine violators may also be charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 11332 also known as Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act. (PNA)

Leave a Reply