Mayor defers enforcement of order to monitor visitors in Legazpi
LEGAZPI CITY — Mayor Noel Rosal on Monday took a step back on his order requiring the registration of all visitors in villages, deferring its implementation following widespread criticism likening it to the imposition of martial law.
Rosal, in an interview, said he deferred the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 36-2017 for review and refinement by the city legal officer and consultation with members of the city council.
The mayor said he would ask the council to instead pass an ordinance, or local law, identical to his EO.
But he went to great lengths to explain that the EO does not impose a penalty of P1,000 fine, as earlier reported, on villagers who failed to register in villages where they don’t reside and would stay in for at least 24 hours.
Residents who host visitors were required to register the names of their visitors and the purpose of the visitors’ stay.
Rosal also sought to make clear that the EO does not apply to hotels and lodging houses as earlier reported.
The EO was issued on Aug. 22 to keep a record of all individuals who were not residents of villages they were staying in. The record would carry names and duration, and purpose of stay.
City residents rejected the order saying it violates their constitutional rights on travel, abode and privacy.
Lawyer Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyer (NUPL) and lawyer Bart Rayco, NUPL Albay chapter president, supported the complaints of city residents while dismissing the EO as a mechanism that curtails these rights.
NUPL, in a press statement, criticized Rosal for having “overreached in his executive order under the pretext of maintaining peace and order and preventing criminality.”
Rosal, in an earlier interview, said that the directive was aimed at supporting President Duterte’s war on drugs and criminality.
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