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PNP may use ‘reasonable force’ against Etihad passengers refusing medical test

/ 03:44 PM April 21, 2014

Passengers walk past a thermal scanner at the medical quarantine area at the arrival section of Manila’s International Airport in Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—If one of the passengers of Etihad Airlines flight EY0424 refuses to be examined for possible infection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), the police could use “reasonable force.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP) maintained on Monday that it holds an inherent police power to compel a person to yield to them for the safety of the general public.

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“We will have to bodily carry them (if they resist) as a last resort but we have not reached that point yet,” Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP Public Information Chief, said in a press briefing.

Sindac said the‎ PNP can use the special power as it is provided in Republic Act 9271 or the Quarantine Law of 2004. ‎

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On orders of President Benigno Aquino III and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the PNP has been directed to “assist and support” the Department of Health (DOH) in locating the passengers with risks of carrying MERS-CoV.

But as of Monday, the DOH said 113 out of the 414 passengers were tested negative.

“We could compel civilians in line of general public safety. If the people are at risk, the police can enforce persuasive measures,”‎ he said.

Sindac said the police would persuade the passengers ‎to cooperate for their own good.

Once the police locate one of the infected persons, Sindac said the PNP will immediately secure the area and relay the person’s location to DOH.

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TAGS: Department of Health, DoH, Etihad Airlines Flight, MERS-CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus, Philippine National Police, PNP, Police, Reuben Theodore Sindac
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