On human rights concerns during the enhanced community quarantine period

The Palace takes note on the efforts of the local government units (LGUs) on how they devise and operationalize social distancing and other preventive measures under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

We give due credit to these efforts happening on the ground, along with other interventions, in order to make the ECQ effective in containing the spread of the coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).

There are, however, concerns on alleged human rights violations by LGUs against ECQ offenders who disobeyed the rules and health protocols. As we are not fully aware of the details of such violations, we will appreciate receipt of detailed information of the same for proper action by the appropriate agencies.

Under the current circumstances we are in, the LGUs enforce the law as reasonably strict as possible for the full protection of our people. While such protection measures spell the difference between life and death, they are implemented well within the rule of law, and are respectful of the human dignity and human rights of everyone.

In addition, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which supervises both the LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP), is committed to uphold human rights at all times and will not tolerate any violation during this period of ECQ.

In all this, we cannot overstate the need for everyone to observe social distancing, curfew hours, and other protocols in these difficult times. As necessary, please stay at home. Please do not violate any of the ECQ rules. This entails everyone’s cooperation. We need to fight this pandemic together.