Guevarra on invasion: It is armed actions by human beings, not viruses
MANILA, Philippines — “Invasion” is mentioned as one of the basis to declare martial law under Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution. But can the spread of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 be considered an invasion?
Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said yes because “there is an actual invasion of the coronavirus disease, which is pandemic” that threatens the entire country.
The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which originated from Wuhan, China, has infected over 9, 485 in the country and killed 623.
But Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said: “In the context of martial law, ‘invasion’ refers to invasion of a country by foreign armed forces.”
“This is analogous to the other ground for declaring martial law, i.e., rebellion, which is an armed uprising against the government by its own citizens. Both terms [referring to invasion and rebellion] refer to armed actions by human beings, not by non-living things like viruses,” he added.
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