IBP vows legal aid to harassed frontliners

THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines expressed commitment to protecting the rights of health workers and frontliners reportedly being harassed and discriminated against.

This was announced by Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles, a lawyer by profession, as he lauded the IBP for helping in the battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

IBP president Domingo Egon Cayosa underscored the group’s commitment after learning that frontliners and COVID-19 patients were being mistreated.

Reports said health workers, other frontliners and virus patients were being subjected to various forms of discrimination, including being denied transportation, barred entry into boarding houses, and even denied hospital admission.

“I thank my fellow lawyers for assuring our frontliners that they are ready to take the cudgels up for them and defend their rights,” Nograles, a stalwart of Lakas-CMD, said.

“Nakakalungkot lang na may ganitong diskriminasyon sa halip na magbigay-pugay tayo sa mga taong humaharap sa panganib ng pandemic na ito para tayo ay maging ligtas,” Nograles lamented.

President. Rodrigo Duterte himself vowed that police would crack down on those who commit acts of discrimination or abuse against frontliners.

Nograles also urged local government units to create and implement ordinances that would protect frontliners and ensure they have no difficulty acquiring basic necessities such as food and shelter.

“Our quarantine guidelines already have these provisions, but unless every LGU complies we won’t be able to put in place a working mechanism that ensures the safety and well-being of our frontliners,” the neophyte solon said.

The lawmaker also implored Filipinos not to give in to fear and panic.