MANILA - Authorities will continue to arrest curfew violators as the Department of Justice launched its online inquest proceedings project, government's joint task force said Sunday.
The DOJ has issued general rules on procedures for the conduct of e-inquest to prosecutors nationwide, according to Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield.
In the absence of internet connections or online facilities in police stations, regular direct filing will be done, he added.
“Based on our assessment, the number of curfew violators will just continue to rise if we become lenient on them. This will definitely defeat the purpose of the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine which President Duterte approved purposely to contain the COVID-19,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“The virus does not move. People move it. We stop moving, the virus stops. It’s that simple."
Physical punishment must not be imposed on arrested curfew violators, Eleazar said as he cited the task force's recommendations approved by Philippine National Police chief Archie Gamboa.
Curfew violators must be held for 12 hours while "being admonished so as to deter them from repeating the offense" if the filing of the case against them will be deferred after the quarantine.
Authorities must also coordinate with local officials in identifying a temporary detention center that can house violators while observing physical distancing. They are also tasked to coordinate on the proper disposition of apprehended violators.
As of Friday, policemen have apprehended some 42,826 curfew violators nationwide since March 17 when Luzon was placed on lockdown, Eleazar said. The move was then followed by other provinces and regions, he added.