Late this afternoon, 14 June 2021, the President of the Philippines demanded “Cebu must follow IATF protocols on arriving passengers”.https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/382593/palace-steps-foot-down-says-cebu-must-follow-iatf-protocols-on-arriving-passengers In the past weeks, as detailed by this article, there has been tension between the IATF and the Province of Cebu regarding what safety procedures to follow in the case of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) arriving in the Philippines.
From all that we have published and written on this website for over a year, it is our conclusion that Governor Gwen Garcia in Cebu has a better understanding than the IATF regarding the nature of the COVID-19 challenge and what to do with it. From this, it follows that Gov. Gwen Garcia has implemented and is implementing more meaningful procedures than the IATF to deal with the disease.
We have covered the Cebu experience on this website. We will not detail this experience here as all can access the necessary information at https://covidcalltohumanity.org.
What is important at this point is not the science that supports the COVID-19 response of Gov. Garcia. Rather, we are deeply concerned with the creeping totalitarianism that is in full display in this current case. As it stands, the government lockdowns are violating 38 provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. https://covidcalltohumanity.org/2021/05/25/nicanor-perlas-guidebook-to-end-lockdowns-now-an-executive-summary/
The suppression of Cebu’s policies by the national government is BLATANTLY ILLEGAL and should be condemned as such by the general public. If we let this pass without expressing our dissent, then this dictatorial style of governance will invade every facet of our lives and freedoms.
Section 105 of the Local Government Code (LGC) clearly specifies that the Department of Health, under the directive of the President, can only demand compliance for a cumulative period of six months. We are way past that prescriptive period of six months. We are now 14 months into various forms of lockdowns throughout the country. To continue dictating procedures on LGUs beyond 6 months would require the consent of the LGU concerned.
By the way, this section assumes that we have a real national health emergency. But we do not have a health emergency. I have continuously pointed this out on this website.See, for … Continue reading
Gov. Garcia is fully aware of Section 105 of the LGC.https://covidcalltohumanity.org/2021/05/04/cebu-province-to-continue-customs-protocols-for-arriving-ofws-despite-pressure-from-national-advisers/ On the basis of this law, she crafted the province’s innovative COVID-19 response policy that the IATF is now questioning. Now, in cases of such a conflict, the law, Section 5 of the LGC, Rules of Interpretation, clearly supports the position of Gov. Garcia.
“(a) Any provision on a power of a local government unit shall be liberally interpreted in its favor, and in case of doubt, any question thereon shall be resolved in favor of devolution of powers and of the lower local government unit. Any fair and reasonable doubt as to the existence of the power shall be interpreted in favor of the local government unit concerned;” [Emphasis added.]
So we strongly demand that the national government respects the rule of law in this country. We cannot afford another authoritarian unscientific style of governance that has already effectively destroyed the middle class, wiped out millions of jobs, forced the economy into recession, worsened the plight of those already in poverty, punished millions of children and young Filipinos by closing schools, plunged thousands into depression, jacked up the suicide rate of this country to 26% in 2020, and is now killing and harming tens of thousands of Filipinos with dangerous experimental vaccines.
Gising Na! The national government, should not interfere with Governor Gwen Garcia. Allow her to manage her province the way she sees fit. After all, her style is consultative, scientific, compassionate, balanced, nuanced, effective, and has already produced more health, economic, and social benefits than all the mostly failed IATF policies.
And for Governor Garcia herself, we encourage you to stick with these powerful inspiring words of yours:
‘Instead of going back to that repressive quarantine for our returning Filipinos and OFWs, in line with their whole-of-nation approach, I take a position as a governor of the Province of Cebu.Ibid. …. Don’t mess with us. We can take care of ourselves. I will not and never again accept lockdown. I will fight for Cebu and the Cebuanos because Cebu is moving on and moving forward.”https://covidcalltohumanity.org/2021/04/13/cebu-province-leads-the-way-conquers-ecqs/
Given this brazen and totally illegal attempt by the national government to force Gov. Garcia into submission, we at Covid Call to Humanity encourage all our readers to express their support for Governor Gwen Garcia and her team. We urge you to share this statement of support with all your friends and networks as well as in all your social media accounts. Let millions know about this naked display of raw power and condemn it.
The fate of Governor Garcia is intimately tied with our fate. Her suppression will be our suppression. Her vindication will ultimately bring us closer to the day when this country’s senseless lockdowns will come to a grinding halt and our full freedoms will be restored with great joy to all!
On behalf of our Covid Website team,
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher
Covid Call to Humanity