Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said an arrest would depend on the local ordinance and that if there were no ordinance “no arrest can be made.” He was reacting to human rights lawyer and former senatorial candidate Jose Manuel Diokno who said police could not arbitrarily arrest or detain a person for violating public health emergency measures such as curfews and travel restrictions.
Guevarra said a curfew violator will just be “physically prevented from entering or exiting” a certain locality or municipality, but may do so if the person assaults a law enforcer.
He reiterated that the Philippines is “not in a state of martial law. We are fighting a common but relatively unknown enemy, a dangerous and lethal virus.”
Guevarra added, “The Philippine National Police, assisted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, will be on the streets not to sow fear but to protect us.”