President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has said that police and the military will step in to control social distancing and curfew if citizens continue to violate the Covid-19 quarantine rules.
Duterte has sent out his warning in a televised speech. “I am asking for your discipline, because if you don’t want to [follow the rules], the military and police will take over. I am ordering them now to be ready,” he said, as cited by local media.
The police and the military will enforce social distancing and curfew. It would be like martial law. You choose.
The president said that he could hand down the order as early as “next week.”
Duterte’s words came following reports of Filipinos continuing to violate quarantine rules. Earlier this week, the mayor of the nation’s capital Manila, Isko Moreno, temporarily imposed a “total lockdown” in one of the city’s neighborhoods after a video surfaced of around 100 residents attending a street boxing match.
Duterte, who is known for using straightforward and crass language, has previously said that he ordered police, the army and city officials to shoot quarantine violators in self-defense if they “fight back” against the authorities. He also warned that those who violate quarantine rules will not receive aid from the government – especially people who organize cockfighting tournaments and drinking sessions.
As of Friday, the Philippines has over 5,800 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 387 deaths.