House-to-house Search for COVID-19 Patients Alarms CHR

The Commission on Human Rights cautioned the Philippine government against utilizing tough approaches to prevent wider transmission of the novel coronavirus disease seen to negatively impact people’s basic human rights.

The announcement came after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said police will carry out house-to-house searches to find COVID-19 patients under home quarantine and transfer them to government isolation facilities amid increasing infection numbers. He also urged the public to report cases in their communities.

Lawyer Jacqueline De Guia, CHR spokesperson, said this is “susceptible to overreach” in terms of guaranteeing people’s right to privacy and right to be secure in their homes.

She also stressed the constitutional right of people to be secure in their houses makes the forcible entry, search, arrest and seizure of individuals inside the safety of their abodes without a determined probable cause illegal.

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