Pangilinan to Duterte: COVID-19 is current biggest threat, not insurgency  | Inquirer News
Senator says martial law in not the solution to present situation

Pangilinan to Duterte: COVID-19 is current biggest threat, not insurgency 

/ 10:19 PM April 24, 2020

Pangilinan decries ‘mob mentality,’ ‘aggression’ against media

Sen. Francis Pangilinan. (Photo from his Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Friday denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to declare martial law should lawlessness involving communist rebels continue amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The enemy at the gates today is COVID-19… ang pinakamatinding problem ng bansa ngayon, hindi ang insurgency,” Pangilinan said in a message to reporters.


(COVID-19 is the biggest problem our country is facing right now, not insurgency).


“Hindi martial law ang solusyon sa krisis ng (COVID-19). Tigilan na nila ang pagtulak ng kamay na bakal dahil hindi kayang gipitin o sugpuin ng kamay na bakal ang mikrobyo o nakakamatay na virus,” he added.

(Martial will not solve the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s stop pushing for the use of iron fist because it would not eradicate the deadly virus).

What the government should prioritize is ensuring that relief assistance are given to every family affected by the lockdown, Pangilinan stressed.

“Sa panahon ng (COVID-19) unahin nilang hanapan ng solusyon yung milyon milyon na ginugutom na kababayan natin sa mga komunidad at lansangan sa Maynila at iba pang lockdown areas at hindi mga rebeldeng nasa tuktok ng malalayong bundok,” he said.

(In this time of COVID-19, let’s prioritize finding solutions to feed the millions of Filipinos in the streets and communities in Metro Manila and other locked down areas who are going hungry and not the rebels in high mountain peaks in far-flung places).

“Isang malawakang public health strategy tulad ng ginawa ng Taiwan, South Korea at Vietnam ang solusyon sa krisis hindi martial law,” he added.


(An expansive public health strategy like what Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam have done will solve the crisis, not martial law).

Senator Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, said the government should “focus all (its) energy” on mass testing and improving the country’s health care system amid the pandemic.

“I think we should focus all our energy in improving the COVID-19 testing and surveillance capacity of national and local governments and the capacity of our health care system,” Villanueva said in a separate message to reporters.

“We should also think about lifting the quarantine sector ally so that some sectors of the economy can start to operate. (Martial law) will not help in these priority areas,” he added.

Angered by the killing of soldiers by suspected members of the New People’s Army amid the distribution of aid, Duterte earlier threatened to declare martial law should such attacks continue.

He earlier placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine as cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines continued to increase.

Initially, the quarantine was supposed to lapse on April 13, but the President extended the lockdown period to April 30.

The enhanced community quarantine was then extended for another 15 days in Metro Manila, and other several “high risk” areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

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As of Friday afternoon, there are a total of 7,192 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Of the number, 762 have recovered while 477 have died.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: communist rebels, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Martial law, Nation, News, Rodrigo Duterte

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