Palace suggests filing of murder, imprudence cases against COVID-19 spreaders

    MANILA, Philippines – Filing of murder and imprudence charges against COVID-19 positive individuals who violated protocols is “possible”, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

    On Monday, June 7, President’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said it is possible to file cases against infected individuals breaking protocols despite their knowledge of their disease.

    Palace suggests filing of murder COVID spreaders
    PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/Presidential Communications

    “Kung alam niya po, pumunta siya sa isang lugar, alam niyang may sakit siya ng coronavirus at nakahawa siya at namatay, ay ‘yan po ay talagang sadyang pagpatay ‘yan. Papasok po ‘yan sa murder sapagkat intentional,” Panelo explained.

    While Duterte agreed to the possibility of filing murder raps against these individuals, he believes reckless imprudence is the complaint more appropriate to file.

    “Iyong sabi mo murder, although medyo malayo masyado sa isip ng tao ‘yan, 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, if it is intentional, malayo ‘yan pero it could be murder, sabi nga ni Sal. At kung hindi, iyang reckless imprudence would really mas swak doon sa sitwasyon na ‘yon,” Duterte said.

    Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) expressed their concerns over Panelo’s suggestion.

    IBP President Atty. Domingo Egon Cayosa said that a murder charge can only be filed if the infected individual who broke the health protocol had the intention to kill by spreading the virus. However, individuals who don’t have the intention to kill may be charged with reckless imprudence.

    “Yung sinasabi niya ay kung may intensyon talagang magkalat ng COVID-19, may premeditation, o kaya may treachery o pagtra-traydor na may intensyon talagang pumatay at magkalat ng virus na yan ay maari ay maari sigurong murder. Pero yung recklessness lang, kung wala naman intensyong pumatay ng tao, reckless imprudence lang yan.

    Furthermore, Cayosa emphasized that it will be difficult to prove this in court.

    — Mini, The Summit Express

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