I’VE noticed several vehicles on the street with a “LAWYER” sign posted on the hood, on the license plate or on the front window.
And I’m like, so?
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against them. In fact, I have many good friends who are lawyers, including one who topped the bar. My grandfather was a lawyer, although he didn’t practice. So is my mentor, who is better known for his contribution to Cebu media than for his lawyering. All in all, they’re a pretty decent bunch. And I’m not just saying that because I may need their services one day.
But what is their role in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)? It’s a serious question that deserves a serious answer. Why should they be exempted from the stay-at-home order? Are they even qualified to be considered “essential” workers? If not, then why do some of them display the sign on their vehicles?
Do they expect special treatment? Are they saying the many restrictions imposed on the general populace to try to contain this current pandemic do not apply to them?
Doctors or anyone in the field of medicine, I understand. In fact, they should have a sign on their foreheads declaring they are out there risking their lives to help people who are infected with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. They deserve more than exemption, they deserve our respect and lifelong gratitude for keeping the majority of us safe during this health crisis.
The same goes for non-medical frontliners, particularly those who continue to provide the needs of those affected by the community quarantine protocol.
Again, my hat off to people working in the groceries, pharmacies, banks and the drivers who deliver medicines, food and, of course, milk tea to the segment of the population not allowed outside their homes or are afraid to go out.
Anyway, I decided to dig up the list of authorized persons outside residence. I found an updated one that came out at the end of June. The source is the Cebu City Government.
There are just too many of them to write down here, but there are the obvious like those offering medical services, those involved in providing daily essentials or essential goods and those employed in utilities or funeral services.
The list also includes those in security services like the police, the military, the coast guard and other law enforcement personnel, but no lawyers.
I checked the other authorized persons – justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals and judges of Regional, Metropolitan, City and Municipal Trial Courts and prosecutors–oh wait, prosecutors are lawyers, right? I guess threatening Covid-19 with litigation is an effective way of warding off a disease.
At any rate, I have yet to see a “JUDGE” sign posted outside vehicles plying the streets.