President Rodrigo Duterte agreed with the proposal of Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo that COVID-19 patients who are not careful not to infect others can be held accountable in the murder case.
At the Inter-Agency Task Force meeting Monday night, Panelo explained that there are heavy penalties that can be imposed on those who continue to violate health protocols set by the government.
“Kasi iyong unang sitwasyon hindi niya alam na may sakit siya, baka nahawa lang siya, kaya kung iyon po ay namatay pupwede iyon pumasok sa homicide. Pero kung maselan ito na sugat o injury, maaaring reckless imprudence resulting to physical injury or depende kung serious or less serious. Pero kung alam niya, at pumunta sa isang lugar at may sakit siya ng coronavirus, at namatay, ay iyan po ay talagang sadyang pagpatay iyan. Iyan po ay papasok sa murder sapagkat intentional,” said Panelo.
Duterte answered: “Iyong sabi mong murder, although medyo malayo siguro sa isip ng tao iyan, but it is possible. If he knows that he is sick with COVID-19, and he goes about nonchalant, papasyal pasyal ka lang diyan. You are maybe it if it is intentional, malayo iyan. Pero it could be murder sabi ni Sal. At iyang reckless imprudence, mas swak doon sa sitwasyon na iyon.”
COVID-19 patients not following health protocols may face murder complaints
Apart from homicide and murder, he said those who violate health protocols can also be held accountable in cases of resistance or disobedience to authorities and violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of the Public Health Concern Act, according to the Panel.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año said that the Philippine National Police still records violations of health protocols.
According to Año, up to 50,021 did not wear face masks, while 613 attended mass gatherings. There were also 13,882 who violated physical distancing.
Of this number, more than 1,000 cases have been filed in court.