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Metro Manila community quarantine violators will not be arrested –DOJ

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday that violators of the community quarantine placed on Metro Manila would not be arrested, though authorities had the power to prevent entry or exit from the National Capital Region.

"Re checkpoints, law enforcement agents can physically prevent actual movements [entry into or exit from Metro Manila] unless covered by the exceptions or on highly justifiable grounds," Guevarra explained.

"No [detention], just being physically prevented from entering or exiting. But if the person assaults the law enforcement agent, or slanders him, or bribes him, then that's cause for a warrantless arrest," the Justice Secretary added.

Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office Director Police Major General Debold Sinas earlier said that authorities would arrest "unruly violators" of the community quarantine. 

Meanwhile, Guevarra emphasized that martial law had not been imposed on Metro Manila.

"We are fighting a common but relatively unknown enemy, a dangerous and lethal virus known as COVID-19. 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," said the DOJ Secretary.

"So let us please cooperate and help each other until this public health emergency is over... By standing united and fighting together, we shall beat this enemy."

The Philippines on Thursday raised a Code Red Sub-Level 2 over the COVID-19 threat.

On Friday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 64. — Joahna Lei Caslao/DVM, GMA News