A LAWYER has asked the Supreme Court to annul a law giving President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to fight a coronavirus pandemic, and a couple of proclamations declaring a public health emergency and imposing a lockdown on the entire Luzon island.

In a nine-page pleading, lawyer Jaime O. Ibañez said the law, which took effect on March 24, gave the President excessive powers in responding to the health crisis.

He also accused Mr. Duterte of usurping legislative power when he locked down Luzon in mid-March by suspending work, classes and public transportation to contain the pandemic.

The lockdown in much of the country including Manila, the capital and nearby cities has since been relaxed, with some businesses allowed to reopen with limited workforce.

“The President is merely tasked to execute the law,” Mr. Ibañez said. “Hence it is an undue delegation of legislative power and usurpation of the same when the President issued Proclamation Nos. 929 and 922,” he added.

Proclamation 929 placed the country under state of calamity and locked down Luzon, while Proclamation 922 declared a state of public health emergency.

The plaintiff also asked the tribunal to stop an inter-agency task made up of Cabinet secretaries from enforcing community quarantines “for being invalid delegated legislative authority.”

Mr. Ibañez said the enhanced community quarantine had “wrought havoc on the socioeconomic equilibrium,” forcing millions of Filipinos to starve and lose their jobs.

He also said that the guidelines violated the equal protection clause when everybody was quarantined, including healthy people. The quarantine violated people’s right to liberty and property, he added.

“Putting this country into community quarantine poses a continuing threat to one’s right to life (including the right to work), to liberty and to property,” according to a copy of the petition. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas