‘Apprehended’ violators of curfew should be sent home, not jailed–Senators



Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said on Sunday, after the apprehension of persons who would violate the “community quarantine” being imposed by the Philippine government to contain the COVID-19, they should be sent home.

“After arrest, send them back home,” said Dela Rosa,  when  asked if violators  should be detained.  He considers arrest a necessary measure.

“This is a global emergency so bawal ang pasaway. Hindi ito panahon para maging pilosopo. Panahon ito para maging masunurin at matulungin sa ating gobyerno,” he said.

“We need to sacrifice in order to survive this pandemic,”  added the former PNP chief.

As the “community quarantine” to address the COVID-19 threat starts, Senator  Panfilo Lacson said the PNP should exercise caution in handling the situation.

Republic Act 9271, the Quarantine Act of 2004 – replacing a very old Republic Act 123 of 1947 — is silent on the movements of persons in the streets as it only domestic and international seaports and airports.

Hence, law enforcement authorities may not be legally equipped to conduct arrest unless local ordinances are available for its enforcement.

For its part, he said Congress may need to amend R.A. 9271 to adapt to this new normal, the COVID-19.

“Hopefully we’ve seen the last of its kind even as we pray that cure will come sooner than soon,” he said.

“After all, these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures,” said Lacson who also served as PNP chief.

Senator Grace Poe exhorted  the public to observe prudence during these times.

“We can avoid the spread of the disease if we arm ourselves with reliable facts and remain calm in all our activities,” she said.

“In all our actions — as we buy our supplies for the coming weeks, or as those who exhibit symptoms approach our health care facilities — we must bear in mind that the only way to rise against this challenge is to rise together,” she said.

Poe said  this  is the same spirit that has allowed us to thrive amidst the trials of the past— bayanihan.

“We must always be mindful that we are part of a bigger whole, and our actions as individuals affect those around us,” said Poe.

In the end, she said winning this takes the whole nation’s unified effort.

A well-informed and united Filipino nation can surpass any challenge./Stacy Ang

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