CEBU SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION VS. IATF PROTOCOL ON ARRIVING OFWS, ROFS
CEBU PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE, JUNE 23, 2021 --- I only have limited understanding of the implementation of certain laws, but I do understand that in implementing our laws, there is a so-called Hierarchy of Laws, a LOCAL ORDINANCE PREVAILS OVER RESOLUTIONS because it is promulgated in the exercise of the principles of local autonomy as provided under Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
I only had two Political Science subjects in college: PolSci 05 Introduction to Law, and PolSci02 which tackles the Constitution extensively. But I have understood since that the Constitution reigns supreme, followed by the laws enacted by Congress, and then by local ordinances.
Thus, when the Cebu Provincial Government --- with Governor Gwen Garcia for a boss --- enforced a swab-upon-arrival policy for returning overseas Filipinos, overseas Filipino workers, and non-OFWs I was one of those who covered the running story. On June 11 in a special session of the Cebu Provincial Board, the august body stood firm in its approval of Ordinance 2021-04 which strengthens Gov Gwen's Executive Order No. 17 on the said policy.
The Provincial Board assured of the legality and constitutionality of Ordinance 2021-04, as amended, to carry out swabbing not just on the first day but also on the seventh day, and including Cebuanos with dual citizenship.
Further, the Provincial Board assured that the ordinance can stand judicial scrutiny.
On June 21, Monday, two Cebuano lawyers seek the intervention of the court following the insistence of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to implement its quarantine protocols for arriving OFWs and ROFs at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
They are Attorney Clarence Paul Oaminal and Attorney Valentino Bacalso, Jr.
The two lawyers, through Atty. Benjamin Cabrido, a legal consultant of Capitol, filed a special civil action for DECLARATORY RELIEF before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City against the IATF-MEID with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as its chairperson.
Here is a report produced by the Cebu Provincial Information Office, the official news arm of the Cebu Provincial Government, through its news platforms BALITA SA SUGBO and SUGBO NEWS reported by Sheila Gravinez with the report of Mylen Manto: