AS AN officer of the court, I'm obligated to share this observation. Let's clarify. Many ask me and I just want to share as it is my sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
What is the 1987 Constitution? That is our highest law. Supposedly, those are our house rules. No law or order can be passed against that. At present, our Constitution guarantees our RIGHT TO LIFE (bodily integrity), LIBERTY (freedoms, movement, etc.), and PROPERTY (work, monies, and possessions), DUE PROCESS (no summary execution), and EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAWS (no discrimination, unnecessary requirements, or to be treated differently) (Art. III, Sec1) and FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION (Article III, Section. 5). Republic Act (RA) No. 11525 is the prevailing law.
Section 12 thereof states that “vaccine cards shall not be considered as an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction processes.” As long as it is not repealed or amended, we, as officers of the court and even all government officials/employees, are supposed to uphold this.
Article 286. Grave Coercion. The penalty of prision correccional and a fine not exceeding six thousand pesos shall be imposed UPON ANY PERSON WHO, WITHOUT ANY AUTHORITY OF LAW, SHALL, BY MEANS OF VIOLENCE, THREATS OR INTIMIDATION, PREVENT ANOTHER FROM DOING SOMETHING NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW, OR COMPEL HIM TO DO SOMETHING AGAINST HIS WILL, WHETHER IT BE RIGHT OR WRONG.
If the coercion be committed in violation of the exercise of the right of suffrage, or for the purpose of compelling another to perform any religious act, TO PREVENT HIM FROM EXERCISING SUCH RIGHT OR FROM SO DOING SUCH ACT, the penalty next higher in degree shall be imposed. (Article 286, Revised Penal Code)
We have three branches of the government:
1. Legislative Branch (senators and House of Representatives) - they make laws (Republic Acts / Batas Pambansa);
2. Executive Branch (President and his cabinet) - they are the law enforcement; the President makes sure the laws are being properly executed. He also has a quasi-legislative duty, he can make rules (Decrees, Proclamations, Executive Orders, Administrative Orders) that have the force and effect of law. But it must be consistent with our prevailing laws and statutes and Constitution;
3. Judiciary (Supreme Court and other courts) - they interpret the law and administer justice. When there is a question or issue as to whether the implementation of the law is correct, then the judiciary enters to arbitrate and provide the proper interpretation of law.
Where does the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) go? IATF is an ad hoc committee created in 2014 (via EO 168) to address public health emergencies. What are their functions? That's in Section 2 of EO 168. Can they make a law? NO. If they have the power to make rules and regulations/guidelines/policies, it is merely quasi legislative in nature. He is not equal to the law like the Republic Act. And if they make resolutions/guidelines, they must be aligned or consistent with the existing Republic Acts and more importantly, with our Constitution. Can they be punished or imprisoned? NO.
When the President orders something, you can't just say it. Even if his spokesperson has a notice or a press release. Let's find the written Executive Order. Is it possible to have a law that is mandatory or compulsory in nature (for example vaccines) that will only be passed by the IATF or Executive Order? NO.
There must be a law first. Remember, the IATF and any Executive Order must be subject to our Constitution and existing laws. Can our company issue a policy in line with IATF Resolution 148-B, Series 2021 and require me to be vaccinated or else, do I need to swab regularly? NO.
Because, that would be unconstitutional (against the Constitution) and illegal (against RA No. 11525 and constitutes Grave Coercion under Art. 286 of the Revised Penal Code). I hope this helps clarify. We need to educate ourselves. Know your rights.
January 09, 2022
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