Enhanced community quarantine violators may be arrested – Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines — Those who violate the “enhanced community quarantine” declared by President Rodrigo Duterte over the whole of Luzon may be arrested and charged for violating Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday.
Article 151 “punishes resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person,” Guevarra said at a press conference in Malacañang shortly after Duterte announced the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon.
The order imposes stringent measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
The penalty for violating Article 151 of the RPC is arresto mayor, or imprisonment of one month and one day to six months, and a fine not exceeding P100,000.
Guevarra added that any violation might also be punishable under Republic Act No. 11332 — the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
RA 11332 provides polices and measures for surveillance and response to notifiable diseases and protect Filipinos from any public health threats.
The said law allows the Health secretary to declare “epidemics of national and/or international concerns, and the President “shall declare a State of Public Health Emergency and mobilize governmental and nongovernmental agencies to respond to the threat.”
The following are the prohibited acts under RA 11332:
- Non-operation of the disease surveillance and response systems
- Non-cooperation of persons and entities that should report and/or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern
- Non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern
If found guilty, there will be a penalty of not more than six months imprisonment or a fine of not more than P50,000.
But Guevarra clarified that law enforcers would only make an arrest when there would “serious resistance or disobedience” to authorities.
“So, I plead with everyone to just simply give your cooperation,” Guevarra said. “This is something that is temporary. This is for the good of all of us. The police officers supported by the armed forces are not the enemy. They are not there to harass us but to protect us.”
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