Guevarra assures proper enforcement of ECQ laws


JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra assured the public of the proper enforcement of rules and ordinances by authorities tasked to implement health and safety protocols in areas covered by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Guevarra made the assurance as the Philippine National Police (PNP) disclosed that more than 20,000 quarantine violators have so far been arrested during the first three days of the ECQ period, which is expected to end on August 20.

The PNP said 353 of the accosted quarantine violators will face formal charges for violation of curfew hours being implemented in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila posted the highest number of quarantine violators with 4,394.

Guevarra noted that apprehension of violators of health and safety ordinances, quarantine-related rules issued by competent authorities, and related laws of national application are covered by the Department of Justice (DOJ)-Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Philippine National Police (PNP) Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) issued on May 31, 2021.

Under the memorandum, local government units are mandated to identify and provide large and open air holding areas which shall be used for booking and initial investigation purposes.

Police officers are also tasked to ensure that any apprehension of persons cited for violation of minimum public health standards is anchored on an existing, valid, and applicable local ordinance or law.

“Where the law ordinance allows the payment of a fine or the rendition of community service to avoid criminal prosecution, the same shall be observed to avoid congestion in detention centers and holding areas and in prosecutor’s offices,” the memorandum added.

Otherwise, if the violation requires that the person arrested be subjected to inquest proceedings such as for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority, the arresting officers are mandated to present the person immediately to the DOJ inquest prosecutor.

The inquest prosecutor, on the other hand, is directed to comply with the mandatory timeframe to complete the inquest by electronic means, or may order the immediate release for further investigation of the person arrested and also to avoid unnecessary congestion in holding areas, jails or detention centers.

The joint guidelines, according to Guevarra, were created to serve as a guide for officials
and personnel of the DILG, PNP and the DOJ in the enforcement of the
minimum health regulations, including curfew.

“Although these are guidelines, we did not include any new regulations or directives in the form of substantive law. This is just so the public will know the internal guidelines and also guide them when they are placed in a situation where they might be accosted by law enforcers in connection with some violations,” Guevarra earlier said.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply