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How Should Curfew Violators Be Punished During ECQ?

Who decides on the penalty?
by Arianne Merez
Apr 6, 2021
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano
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A curfew violator in Cavite was allegedly punished with 300 reps of "pumping" after he was caught during curfew hours buying water and died soon after.

With the return of curfews in the Greater Manila Area due to the revival of ECQ, concerns over the handling of violators have been renewed, prompting the question of who decides on the proper penalty.

According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, penalties of curfew violators are decided by local government units through ordinances.

"It depends on the ordinance of the LGU. First offense is usually warning, second offense fine, etc. It's at the discretion of the various city and municipal councils," DILG spokesperson Usec. Jonathan Malaya told reportr.

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But while LGUs have a free hand on penalties, Malaya emphasized that corporal punishment is "strictly prohibited."

"Corporal punishments for quarantine violations is strictly prohibited. The DILG is currently investigating any report of corporal punishment and will mete the appropriate administrative or disciplinary penalty if warranted," he said.

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Community service is the recommended penalty for curfew violators according to the DILG which also noted that the Philippine National Police cannot decide on its own penalties for violators.

Police officers can only enforce the ordinances of the LGU.

"The PNP has no discretion to decide on the penalty. Their mandate is to enforce the law. The decision on penalties is on the part of the City/Municipal Councils," he said.

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