By Prince Golez
Local government officials will face criminal charges should they refuse to abide by the Enhanced Community Quarantine rules, President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday.
In a pre-taped public address, Duterte urged mayors to heed the guidelines issued by the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases for the implementation of the Luzon-wide quarantine to stop the further spread of coronavirus.
“The only reason why you can impose these quarantine restrictions and impose it on everyone passing through your areas, is because the national government is allowing you to do so. But if you go beyond the standards that we have set, you are abusing your authority, and you know that it can lead to – administrative cases or even worse, unless you stop what you are doing and [cooperate] fully. Criminal cases cannot be far behind,” the President said.
Duterte also directed the Department of the Interior Local Government and the Department of Justice to “closely monitor” the compliance of the local government units and to file the necessary cases against wayward officials.
“Sundin na lang natin tutal para man ito sa lahat. Do not try to overdo things or think that you can do what you want to do because that is not allowed. We, you know, move in one direction, in one unison, precisely to place the contagion in control for the better health of our Filipino, our countrymen,” he added.
The Philippines currently has 217 coronavirus cases, with 17 deaths.