MANILA, Philippines – No more ifs, and, or buts – the Department of Justice (DOJ) made it clear on Tuesday, March 17, that if you are found outside your house and you are not among the narrow exemptions of the Luzon lockdown, then you can be arrested even without a warrant.
“The offense a person may be committing and be held accountable for will depend on each case. But for so long as the en flagrante delicto doctrine is applicable, law enforcers will have a ground to arrest,” DOJ Spokesperson Undersecretary Markk Perete said on Tuesday.
En flagrante delicto is “caught in the act,” one of the conditions under the Rules of Criminal Procedure for state agents to arrest without a warrant.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that a warrantless arrest is only allowed if there is assault on the enforcing officer.
But as President Rodrigo Duterte puts the entire island of Luzon in lockdown, including for non-essential workers and with mass transport suspended, the DOJ’s warning is now without caveat.
“Under RA 11332, yes (mere violation is basis for warrantless arrest),” Perete said.
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