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Military must come in to help PNP enforce quarantine rules – Duterte

By Genalyn Kabiling

The military must “come in” and assist the police in enforcing the community quarantine rules to stem the spread of the new coronavirus disease, President Duterte said on Monday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government's efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 4, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 4, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The President talked about the deployment of government troops after recognizing the limited presence of police personnel in the countryside amid the pandemic.

“Importante po, whether or not there is really a medication or a medicine for COVID, it is still here trying to — naghihintay lang ‘yan kung sinong masakyan niyan eh so importante talaga wear masks (Whether or not there is a really a medicine for COVID, it is still here trying to find a host so it is important to wear masks),” Duterte said in his public address Monday.

“Ang batas (The law) is really to enforce it. Now you have the police but there is as not much really in the provinces. So it’s going to be whether they like it or not the Armed Forces must come in to help enforce a measure that is intended to protect the people and prevent the spread of COVID-19 any further,” he added.

Duterte has expressed concern that the coronavirus has spread in some parts of the country due to the “nonchalant” behavior of local government officials.

“Now sa Zamboanga, Cagayan ngayon lang pumutok. Eh that’s a problem because before narinig ko na… Well, I do not want to quarrel with the mayors but they took the warnings nonchalantly,” he said. “Now, one contamination to the other ngayon puputok — ‘yan pumutok na (it has erupted there) so that’s a problem now,” he added.

The government recently included Zamboanga City and the province of Albay in the list of areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the coronavirus outbreak. As of Sunday, the cases of coronavirus in Zamboanga City reportedly reached 60, including three deaths and four recoveries. Albay province reportedly has 37 cases of infections with three deaths and 23 recoveries.

Other areas under strict quarantine measures are Metro Manila, Central Luzon except Aurora province, CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon), Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod City, and Davao City.

Last month, the President warned about the possible military takeover on the implementation of the quarantine rules in Luzon if people will continue to defy the stay-at-home rule.

Dismayed by the rising number of quarantine violators, Duterte claimed that his order would be similar to the declaration of martial law. He told the military and police “to be ready” to enforce the social distancing measure and curfew.

The President appealed anew to the public to observe the quarantine guidelines, including the wearing of face masks, and keeping a safe distance from others, for their own safety and health.

“Look, cooperate with us. Wear a mask because if not, kung magsabay-sabay, then we will have an overload. Now, do not tell me later on na hindi tayo nag-prepare because we have so many hospitals,” he said.

“So just cooperate because wala naman kaming hangarin dito para pahirapan kayo. As a matter of fact, we are really trying to figure out how we can ease up the miseries that have been imposed on us,” he added.

In the meeting with the President, Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said he already went to Zamboanga City to deliver medical supplies and check its health facility requirements.

He said three testing laboratories will be established in Zamboanga City to cater to the people in the area and nearby provinces. At least 1,100 test kits were delivered to the city.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/05/military-must-come-in-to-help-pnp-enforce-quarantine-rules-duterte/)

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