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SC asked to reverse decision upholding legality of Boracay closure

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The Supreme Court (SC) has been asked to overturn its decision which upheld the constitutionality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 475 that ordered the closure of Boracay island for six months.

The petitioners, all of whom are Boracay residents, disagreed with the SC decision which declared that their right to travel was not impaired considering it was only temporary and merely incidental to the rehabilitation of the island.

“The curtailment of a fundamental right is no less serious merely because it is temporary, it should also be pointed out that the temporary nature of the infringement does not change the fact that the damage had been done, with the livelihoods of thousands of workers—petitioners included—being affected or lost, all to the detriment of these workers and their families,” read the motion for reconsideration of petitioners Mark Anthony Zabal, Thiting Estoso Jacosalem and Odeon Bandiola.

They stressed the right to due process and right to travel are fundamental rights guaranteed to each person considering there was no national security, public safety or public health situation calling for the curtailment not only of their right to travel.

“Curtailment of these fundamental rights cannot be taken lightly,” the stated.

“In the vast ocean of State power and authority, the Bill of Rights serves as a lifeboat for citizens who may find themselves drowning in government excesses,” they added.

Proclamation No. 475 declared a state of calamity in the island and ordered its temporary closure from tourists from April 26, 2018 to October 25, 2018.