Prominent Lawyer slams Diokno: 'You are not protecting human rights, you are violating it'

The recent pronouncement of former senatorial candidate and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno reminding the public that the Philippine National Police (PNP) cannot arrest anyone for violating public emergency health measures following the government's declaration of a month long 'enhanced community quarantine' in Luzon has drawn flak on social media.

"The PNP cannot arrest and detain you for violating public health emergency measures. Pwede ka nilang harangin at wag papasukin, na tama lang naman kung kailangan, pero hindi ka nila pwedeng arestuhin at ikulong dahil hindi naman krimen ang subukang pumasok sa Metro Manila," claimed Diokno.

Questioning what the human rights lawyer has stated, radio host and lawyer Atty. Bruce Rivera expressed his disagreement to Diokno's pronouncement.

Attorney Bruce Rivera and Atty. Chel Diokno

"We are in a public emergency and debating whether the government can or cannot arrest you will not serve the purpose but embolden people to test the limits. As a lawyer, you can question the power of the PNP if there is someone who is arrested for violating the community quarantine because that is a right.  However, the presumption of regularity in the performance of a public duty stands until declared by our courts. Thus, it is morally and legally wrong to say before the implementation of the community quarantine that the PNP cannot arrest someone who will violate the quarantine,"  said Atty. Rivera.

He also added, "You are not protecting human rights. You are violating human rights by giving justification and emboldening individuals to violate a government emergency measure instead of encouraging people to follow the orders of duly-authorized and constitutionally mandated leaders. It is equivalent to preemptive sabotage."

Source: Atty. Bruce V. Rivera | Facebook

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