No rights violated when students are ‘sequestered at home’ over coronavirus fears – Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines – Personal or individual freedoms may have to give way to the common good, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said when asked if there are rights violated with the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte that children should be “sequestered at home.”
The President has suspended classes on all levels in the National Capital Region, following the declaration of a public health emergency due to the spike of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
During the class suspension, students are prohibited from loitering crowded places like malls, movie houses, public markets in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in communities.
“In this state of public health emergency, certain personal or individual freedoms, like the freedom to travel or just even move around, may have to give way to societal interest or the common good,” Guevarra explained.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) acting as truant officers does not violate a law.
“Nothing wrong with that. Students found in malls will not be arrested; they will simply be asked to go home and stay put to avoid possible infection and transmission of the virus,” he said.
“The State is discharging its role as parens patriae (parent of the nation). Let us all cooperate,” he said.
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