outbrain
Close  

Duterte assures Filipinos: We’re far from martial law despite health crisis

/ 12:52 AM May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has assured Filipinos that the government is not thinking of placing the entire country under military rule just to implement measures to avoid more coronavirus transmissions.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, Duterte asked the public for understanding if law enforcement agencies are becoming strict, as enforcing laws to prevent more COVID-19 cases are necessary and urgent.

“I repeat there is no martial law in the Philippines, far from it.  We are exercising the power of the state to protect public health, that is all there is to it,” the President said in his briefing on Monday night.

FEATURED STORIES

“Now because sometimes enforcement can be a very tedious process, and explaining to the ordinary citizen, please understand that these are things which we have to do because it is needed to be implemented.  ‘Yon lang po, ‘wag kayong matakot, [That’s it, don’t be afraid] there will be no arrests, detention or anything,” he added.

Duterte’s clarifications came a month after he threatened martial law several times, if quarantine violations continue and if the communist rebels keep on attacking government agencies delivering social aid to families affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

According to him, he would be forced to declare martial law to curb insurgency amid a health crisis — something that lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representatives agreed to.

Despite these pronouncements, some groups within opposition circles believe that the country is already in a de facto martial law state, as several quarantine violators are subjected to harsh and inhumane treatment, while Duterte’s detractors are either ordered deported or arrested.

Last April, a Filipina worker from Taiwan was ordered deported — although the Taiwanese government did not allow it — for criticizing Duterte and the government’s response to the pandemic.  And then in Agusan del Norte, a salesman was arrested for calling Duterte “buang” (crazy) and his long-time aide Senator Bong Go “playing hero.”

But Duterte insists that law enforcement agencies are just implementing the law.

“It’s purely, if at all, if there’s any intervention or interdiction done by the law enforcement agencies, pati ho ‘yong (even the) military, the role is just to implement the law, they are called upon to assist the government,” he noted.

ADVERTISEMENT

JPV

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.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, coronavirus transmission, COVID-19, law-enforcement agencies, lockdown, Martial law, MECQ, military rule, modified enhanced community quarantine, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte, Public Health
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.