Justice chief says laws allow arrest of quarantine violators


Posted at Mar 16 2020 10:30 PM

MANILA - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said violators of the enhanced quarantine for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 can be arrested based on several laws.

“Considering the gravity of the present situation, our police and other law enforcement agents may effect arrests against violators,” Guevarra said in a press briefing in Malacañang on the enhanced quarantine imposed over the whole of Luzon. 

Guevarra said violators of the quarantine may be charged for resistance or disobedience to a person in authority, which is punishable by incarceration of up to six months and a fine of up to P100,000. A person who violently resists arrest meanwhile may be punished by prison correctional and fined up to P200,000. 

Quarantine violators may also be punished under the Quarantine Act of 2004 which prescribes mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases, Guevarra said. 

“These will come into play 'pag talagang may serious resistance or disobedience to our law enforcers, so I plead to everyone to just simply give your cooperation,” he added. 

Guevarra earlier cautioned Metro Manila local government units against arresting people for violating curfews saying ordinances should first be passed declaring curfews.