SC: Boracay closure did not violate people’s right to travel

/ 07:08 PM February 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The right to travel was not violated when President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No 475 declaring a state of calamity in the Island of Boracay and ordered its temporary closure.

“The Court ruled that Proclamation No. 475 did not pose an actual impairment of the right to travel,” Public Information Office (PIO) chief lawyer Brian Keith Hosaka said at a press conference.


He said 11 justices voted to dismiss the petition against the proclamation filed by three Boracay residents assailing the legality of Duterte’s decision to close the famous Boracay resort island for six months — from April 26, 2018 to October 25, 2018 — to give way to its massive cleanup and rehabilitation.

READ: Duterte approves 6-month closure of Boracay, starting April 26

“The impact of the said proclamation on the right to travel was temporary and merely incidental to the intended rehabilitation of the island,” Hosaka said.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo that Proclamation No. 475 was a valid police power measure.

In their petition, Mark Anthony Zabal, Thiting Estoso Jacosalem, and Odeon Bandiola insisted that the executive branch overstepped on the power of Congress to issue the order and that President had no authority to close down the island based on police power.

Concurring with Justice Del Castillo’s decision were Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Justice Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Francis Jardeleza Andres Reyes, Jr., Alexander Gesmundo, Jose Reyes, Jr., Ramon Paul Hernando, and Rosmari Carandang.

Those who dissented were Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa. /ee

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