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Basahin RA 9271: Ping cautions Covid-19 quarantine implementors

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A potential legal issue may affect the community quarantines being implemented in parts of the country to counter the COVID-19 threat, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Sunday.

Lacson, who served as Philippine National Police chief from 1999 to 2001, said the PNP should exercise caution in handling the situation because of the “silence” of Republic Act 9271, the Quarantine Act of 2004.

“Hence, law enforcement authorities may not be legally equipped to conduct arrest unless local ordinances are available for its enforcement,” he said in a statement.

Lacson noted RA 9271, which replaced Republic Act 123 of 1947, covers domestic and international seaports and airports and is silent on the movements of persons in the streets.

Because of this, he said Congress may need to amend RA 9271 to adapt to COVID-19 – which he branded as the “new normal” – and similar future threats.

“Hopefully we’ve seen the last of its kind even as we pray that cure will come sooner than soon,” he said of the COVID-19 threat.

On the other hand, Lacson reiterated the public should still fully cooperate with authorities and the measures being done.

“After all, these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures,” he said.

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