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DOJ issues rules on arrest of quarantine violators

August 10, 2021 Hector Lawas 1356 views

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra bared the important points of a joint memorandum circular concerning the arrest of COVID-19 quarantine protocol violators.
Pursuant to DILG-PNP-DOJ Joint Memorandum circular issued on May 31 , these salient points are as follows:

1. LGUs are mandated to identify and provide large and open-air holding areas which shall be used for booking and initial investigation purposes.

2. Police officers shall ensure that any apprehension of persons cited for violation of minimum public health standards is anchored on an existing, valid, and applicable local ordinance or law.

3. Where the law or ordinance allows the payment of a fine or the rendition of community service to avoid criminal prosecution, the same shall be observed to avoid congestion in detention centers and holding areas and in prosecutor’s offices.

4. Otherwise, if the violation requires that the person arrested be subjected to inquest proceedings (such as for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority under art 151 of the revised penal code), the arresting officer shall immediately present the person arrested to the DOJ inquest prosecutor.

5. The DOJ inquest prosecutor must strictly comply with the mandatory timeframe to complete the inquest, by electronic means or otherwise, or may order the immediate release for further investigation of the person arrested, likewise to avoid unnecessary congestion in holding areas, jails, or other detention centers.