Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said that he would ask the magistrates to “immediately” act on the delays in releasing thousands of quarantine violators.
Peralta’s statement came after a reporter had asked what the SC could do to address the said issue involving those who committed bailable and light offenses related to quarantine protocols.
“We will trace (where that’s coming from), we will coordinate with the other offices. We will try to look. I think we have to do something about that if these are already pending before the court. I will take note of that,” said Peralta, claiming that it was the first time he’d heard of the situation.
The Chief Justice added that he would have to review first if the delay was coming from the courts.
If the problem is the posting of bail, Peralta said he would “call judges immediately” and tell them to release violators “on their own recognizance” which means the detainee does not have to pay any amount.
Still, there is a mechanism to follow to set a condition and assurance that the accused will show up in court for hearings.
“Ayaw ko yun, for every day of imprisonment, ano yun e, masama yan eh,” Peralta added.
As of October 21, there are still 1,728 Filipinos detained for the light offense of violating quarantine laws.
As hundreds of violators are arrested daily, the number of inquests and court filings could not match this haste.
The situation resulted in a bottleneck and thousands of quarantine violators stuck in prisons, a trend that has not slowed down in seven months.