A party-list solon urged the National Bureau of Investigation to nix politicking in this time of the coronavirus crisis but instead concentrate on apprehending profiteers, hoarders of Personal Protective Equipment and other medical supplies.
Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin expressed disappointment over the NBI move to summon Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to explain alleged violations of the quarantine policy and the Bayanihan We Heal as One Act provisions.
According to Garbin, the NBI should go after those who are guilty of profiteering from the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Dapat agapang hulihin ang mga scammers at mga hoarders nang medical supplies at pagkain.
“The NBI and the police should also arrest those who have violated and are violating the price control currently being imposed by the government,” Garbin said.
Garbin said it is not the job of the NBI to apprehend those who are violating the enhanced quarantine measures of the government.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is tasked to implement ECQ.
“We need to remind them that time is of the essence. Every second wasted is another life wasted. We will not allow any lives to be wasted anymore. They are not merely statistics in this crisis. They are Filipino citizens that ought to be protected. Priorities should be set straight,” Garbin said.
“Kailangang kailangan natin pagtuunan ng pansin ang kakulangan ng PPEs para sa ating mga doctor at nurses. Mas lalong kailangan natin pag tuunan ng pansin at atensyon na siguraduhing may food security tayo. Ayusin natin ang supply chain. Unahin natin siguraduhin na may maihahain ang ating mga kababayan sa kanilang hapag kainan,” the solon added.
Garbin, a lawyer, said the NBI issuance of subpoena is not proper because the issue of tricycle used to transport frontliners happened before the enactment of the Bayanihan Act.
Mayor Sotto allowed the use of tricycles to transport medical frontliners despite the imposition of ECQ which stopped the operation of public transports.
“Unang tingin palang alam na natin na mali ang nasabing patawag o subpoena dahil ang issue ng tricycle sa Pasig ay naganap bago pa man naisabatas ang Bayanihan Act.
“Our Constitution expressly prohibits ex post facto laws. This is clear in Section 22 of Article 3 of the Constitution. Sa madaling salita, Ang ex post facto laws ay mga batas kriminal na may retroactive effect o batas na nagpapataw nang kaparusahan sa mga nakaraang kaganapan o sa mga bagay na nagawa bago pa man magkaroon ng batas na nasasaad na ito’y dapat parusahan o kaya ay isang aktong criminal,” Garbin explained.