TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

'Shoot them dead' - Philippine leader says won't tolerate lockdown violators

  • News Desk

    Reuters

Manila, Philippines   /   Thu, April 2, 2020   /   11:35 am
'Shoot them dead' - Philippine leader says won't tolerate lockdown violators Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines July 22, 2019. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators of coronavirus lockdown measures they could be shot for causing trouble and said abuse of medical workers was a serious crime that would not be tolerated.

In a televised address, Duterte said it was vital everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as authorities try to slow the contagion and spare the country's fragile health system from being overwhelmed.

The Philippines has recorded 96 coronavirus deaths and 2,311 confirmed cases, all but three in the past three weeks, with infections now being reported in the hundreds every day.

"It is getting worse. So once again I'm telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen," Duterte said late on Wednesday.

"My orders to the police and military ... if there is trouble and there's an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead."

"Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you."

His comments came after media reports of a disturbance and several arrests on Wednesday of residents in a poor area of Manila who were protesting about sufficient government food aid.

They also follow outrage among the medical community about social stigma and instances of hospital workers suffering physical abuse and discrimination, which Duterte said must be stopped.

Activists deride Duterte over his fierce rhetoric and accuse him of inviting violence and vigilantism, as shown in his war on drugs, during which police and mystery gunmen have killed thousands of people accused of using or selling drugs.

Police say their actions in the anti-drug campaign have been lawful.

Duterte's office typically calls his remarks hyperbole to underline his point.

The national police chief on Thursday said police understood that Duterte was demonstrating his seriousness about public order, and no one would be shot.

 


If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak