Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Senator Drilon’s Recent Comment
Contrary to Senator Franklin Drilon’s comment with respect to Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, the expiration of the effectivity of the aforesaid law has not affected the state’s authority or the local government’s power to enforce the laws on curfew, mass gathering and the spread of fake news.
Senator Drilon’s comments with respect thereto, and with due respect to him, are not only misplaced but it dangerously encourages citizens to engage in acts detrimental to the safety and security of the populace, as well as the peace and order of the nation.
We remind the good senator, as well as the public, that there are existing laws in place, such as Republic Act No. 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” and even Republic Act No. 10175 or the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012”, which penalize violations thereof with a fine, imprisonment, or both.
Similarly, there are ordinances which local government units have enacted that sanction transgressions of their policies which are designed to secure the general welfare of their constituents.
The preservation of the safety and lives of the Filipino people is not a temporary emergency measure. It is a solemn duty of the government and those who act on its behalf, including Senator Drilon.
Even before the enactment of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the President has been swift and decisive in fulfilling his commitment to serve and protect our citizens. The expiration of the said act does not in any way affect that.
The local governments in Metro Manila, as well as other cities, have similar ordinances on curfew. Violators necessarily are subject to arrest and prosecution. Likewise, there are also ordinances that regulate rallies and demonstrations. Violation of such is likewise subject to arrest and prosecution.— Source: ptvnews.ph