‘Walang namamatay sa gutom,’ says Panelo amid criticism on NCR lockdown
MANILA, Philippines — “Walang namamatay sa gutom. Ang isang buwan, hindi ka pa mamamatay.”
(Nobody dies of hunger. One month, you still won’t die.)
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said this Sunday as he defended the supposed “harsh” lockdown protocols being enforced on people getting in and out of Metro Manila.
Reports of workers supposedly being deprived of entry to the nation’s capital region surfaced just hours after the government enforces the community quarantine of Metro Manila.
But Panelo insisted that the measures are in place to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19, a respiratory disease that has infected 111 and killed eight people in the Philippines.
The government earlier assured workers will still be allowed entry to Metro Manila if they present proof – like company IDs and employment certificate – they need to work in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Anong gusto nila, huwag silang i-check o ‘wag silang makapasok? Sige nga,” Panelo said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer.
“Ang mahalaga intindihin mo na ikaw ay maaring carrier at ang sarili mo ang nasa (bingit ng) kamatayan at pati ‘yung lalapitan mo,” he added.
The Palace official likewise assured that the government has prepared assistance to those who will be affected by the lockdown.
“‘Yung ating social deparment, service departments meron nang hinanda na mga packages. Daan libo na nga ‘yung naka-ready sa kanila, ‘yung mga packed food. Lagi tayong naka-ready,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Metro Manila under lockdown from March 15 until April 14 amid the continued increase in the number of people with COVID-19.
He has also declared a state of public health emergency in the country.
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