Palace to foreigners defying quarantine rules: ‘You’re free to go’
Robie de Guzman • April 23, 2020 • 762
MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals who refuse to comply with government rules for the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are free to leave the country, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said measures being implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19 are necessary and should be followed by everyone, including foreign nationals staying in the Philippines.
“Ang ECQ po ipatutupad sa lahat, sa mayaman, sa mahirap, sa Pilipino o sa dayuhan,” he said during an online press briefing.
(The implementation of the ECQ covers all, whether rich or poor, Filipinos or foreign nationals.)
“Kung ayaw ninyo pong tumupad diyan, lalong-lalo na po ang mga dayuhan, umalis na po kayo ng Pilipinas. You’re free to go,” he added.
(If you do not want to follow, especially the foreigners, leave the Philippines. You’re free to go.)
Roque made the statement following a report on the presence of police officers at a residential condominium in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The Philippine National Police earlier said its personnel went into the building after they received reports of condominium residents, including foreigners, gathering in swimming pool and other common areas in the building, which are in violation of the quarantine guidelines.
Police earlier warned that quarantine violators can be immediately arrested, and can even face imprisonment. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
Malacañang has slammed a proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress that seeks to suspend the security assistance provided by the United States of America to the Philippines.
Pennsylvania Representative Susan Wild sponsored the Philippine Human Rights Act last September 17 as she criticized the alleged human rights abuses in the Philippines and “brutal” regime under President Rodrigo Duterte through the Anti-Terrorism Law. Wild is pushing to halt U.S. funding for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“That’s a very ‘wild’ suggestion. Hayaan na po natin. Iyan po ay personal na opinion ni Congresswoman Wild (We should just let it go. That is the personal opinion of Congresswoman Wild),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, adding that the proposed act has little chance of getting approved.
He also reiterated that Malacañang is confident that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump will uphold Philippine-US relations.
Roque said the Philippines will not interfere with U.S sovereignty and will not stop the proposed act from progressing through the legislative process. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has questioned a local court’s decision to grant the appeal of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton for an early release through good conduct time allowance (GCTA) credits.
Roque, who was the former private legal counsel of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude’s family, said the Bureau of Corrections, which has the authority to grant GCTA credits, did not recommend any allowance for good conduct for Pemberton.
“Yung ginawa po ni Judge na siya na ang nagdesisyon kung paano siya bibigyan ng credit for good conduct is an instance of judicial overreach,” he said.
The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 in an order dated September 1 said Pemberton should be released over good behavior.
Pemberton was sentenced six to 10 years in prison for homicide over the slay of Laude at a motel in Olongapo City in 2014. He has been held at a facility in Camp Aguinaldo pursuant to provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the United States and the Philippines.
The court credited to him a good conduct time allowance (GCTA) of 1,548 days or more than 4 years plus a total of 2,142 days in detention which amounts to more than 10 years of the maximum penalty imposed on him.
The Palace official said that the court’s decision on Pemberton’s release is unjust.
“Very bad po, kasi parang pinapakita na di mahalaga ang buhay ng Pilipino. 5 taon lang sa ginuntuang hawla ang pwedeng maging parusa. Huwag naman po,” he said.
He also denied the claim of Pemberton’s lawyer that he and Laude’s family agreed to release the convicted American soldier on parole.
Roque added that the motion for reconsideration filed by Laude’s family should be resolved first, as well as the appeal that will be lodged by the government’s prosecutors.
The Department of Justice said it has directed the Bureau of Corrections to wait for the court’s resolution on the Laude family’s motion for reconsideration. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the recommendation of the Philippine Army to put Sulu under martial law after the recent twin blasts in Jolo, Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President is awaiting the official report and request of the police and military.
Aside from the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police (PNP) also supports the idea of putting the province under martial law.
However, Roque said the decision to reimpose martial law in Sulu needs further study and the approval of both the legislative and judicial branches of government before it can be implemented.
“Iyan naman po ay kinukunsidera ng ating Presidente, subject siyempre doon sa legal and factual basis. So, kapag ang report naman ay nagtugma na sapat na dahilan ito sa martial law, ikukunsidera naman po iyan ng Preisdente, (That is what the President is taking into consideration, of course it will be subject to legal and factual basis. So if the report is verified and there is a reason to declare martial law, it will be considered by the President),” he said.
The twin explosions in Jolo on Monday (August 24) left at least 15 people dead with 77 injured. Among those killed were seven soldiers and a police officer. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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