Bayanihan law not used to arrest quarantine violators – PNP
MANILA, Philippines — There is no need to cite provisions of the Bayanihan to Heal as One law in arresting quarantine protocol violators, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
During a Senate hearing, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said police officers still file charges under the Revised Penal Code against offenders during the lockdown.
He issued the clarification after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon pointed out that the Bayanihan law is being used by law enforcers to conduct warrantless arrests.
“If we run through the cases being filed against the violators of quarantine rules, we don’t actually use RA 11469 because I myself dissected this and true enough we need the requirement of deputation of other agencies for the PNP to function,” he added.
Drilon had proposed the removal of the penal provision of the Bayanihan law, should it be extended until September.
Drilon pointed out that violations enumerated in the provision, or Section 6, are already penalized in other laws.
“The Bayanihan Act is not a penal statute per se, the principal purpose of the law is to address an emergency and not punish a crime… My proposal is to delete the entire Section 6 because the acts in Section 6 are likewise punished in other laws,” Drilon said.
The Bayanihan act was signed by Duterte into law last March 25 and is set to expire this June.
Under the law, spreading false information about COVID-19, hoarding, profiteering, manipulation of prices, and product deceptions are prohibited.