PH gov’t ensures human rights protection during pandemic — DOJ

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said the Philippine government continues to ensure that the constitutional rights of the people are protected and the rule of law is consistently upheld amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on July 23, 2020, the DOJ, being a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), strives to uphold the protection of human rights whenever stringent measures are being considered in response to the health crisis.

“We factor in measures that certain rights of people such as the right to travel, privacy, freedom of religion are also respected,” Guevarra said.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has focused on offenses that are connected to the pandemic such as hoarding, overpricing, profiteering, irregularities in the distribution of the government’s cash aid, and violation of quarantine protocols, Guevarra said.

“It is of utmost necessity that law and order be maintained and preserve during difficult times such as a public health emergency or a state of calamity. The rule of law is not suspended during a pandemic,” Guevarra said.

The agencies under the DOJ have adopted innovative solutions such as allowing online filings before the prosecution services as well as online inquest services. (Source: PNA)