Duterte threatens to impose ‘martial law-like’ measures if quarantine violators persist
Marje Pelayo • April 17, 2020 • 1103
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.
In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.
“Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.
The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.
Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.
“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.
The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.
He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.
“May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.
“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
Navotas City will be placed under a 14-day lockdown due to the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco confirmed what has been floating on social media regarding the lockdown, although he added that he is still yet to sign the directive.
Based on the report of City Health officials on Sunday (July 12), there are 931 confirmed cases in the city.
Tiangco lamented that despite the rising cases, residents continue to leave their houses irresponsibly. He also said that several children are playing outside without wearing face masks.
Barangay NBBS Dagat-dagatan has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.
Barangay Chairperson Zenaida Tibulan said most of the residents thought there is less danger when community quarantine eased.
“Lahat halos lumalabas na noong nagkaroon ng GCQ parang pakiramdam nila natapos na ang problema. Sobra lang mahirap talaga para masasabi nating ma-control ang mga tao at mga bata na lumabas (Almost everyone went outside when GCQ was implemented, they thought the problem is over. It is really difficult to control residents and children not to leave their houses),” she said.
Mayor Tiangco said he is still waiting for the augmentation force he requested from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to begin the implementation of the lockdown in the city. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento).
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday said it has opened its convalescent plasma center in the Philippine capital to help in the fight against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The PRC said its convalescent plasma bank was opened at its National Blood Center in Port Area and has started operations Monday.
In a statement, PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the facility aims to help COVID-19 patients after some medical experts attested to the therapy’s effectiveness.
“Pinilit naming magkaroon ng convalescent plasma center para mabigyan ng pag-asa ang mga kababayan natin na may COVID,” he said as he noted that 9 out 10 patients who underwent the therapy have recovered from the disease.
Convalescent plasma therapy involves the extraction of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to be transfused to a patient who is still battling the disease. Blood plasma is expected to contain antibodies which will help recipients fight off the infection.
Gordon said the center is open for COVID-19 survivors who wish to donate blood plasma to the PRC.
COVID-19 survivors between the ages of 18 and 65 would have to undergo physical and medical to see if they are qualified to donate blood plasma.
To date, the Philippines has recorded a total of 57,006 COVID-19 cases. Of these patients, 20,371 have recovered while 1,599 died from the disease.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, often floated as a future Japanese premier, said on Monday (July 13) the Olympics must go ahead next year as a symbol of world unity in overcoming the novel coronavirus, even as her city grapples with stubborn spikes in cases.
The 2020 Olympics were scheduled to start this month but were postponed because of the coronavirus. Koike has pledged to win public support for the Games, although a media survey showed a majority think they should be cancelled or postponed again.
“I want to host them as a symbol of the world coming together to overcome this tough situation and of strengthened bonds among humankind,” Koike told Reuters in an online interview. She declined to specify a deadline for deciding if the Games could go ahead.
Tokyo’s jump in COVID-19 cases comes as Abe’s government prepares to launch a campaign to promote domestic tourism, but that has raised concern about spreading the virus outside the capital. (Reuters)
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