‘No harm’ in presence of military tanks during pandemic — Cebu City mayor
MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said Thursday that he sees no harm in the presence of military tanks in the city, disputing an earlier statement of Vice President Leni Robredo that this may sow fear among the public.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel that the deployment of military and police in the city would help enforce discipline amid the imposition of enhanced community quarantine in the area.
“I think there is no harm if there are military personnel and military tanks, and I think it would also give more significance to the fact that this fight against COVID-19 is like a war,” he said.
“This war is rather more difficult because we are fighting an invisible enemy, and it requires all of us (to have) self-discipline among ourselves. I think this visibility of our military and PNP personnel, of course, show of force, I think, is one of the ways by which we can show and impose discipline on our residents,” he said.
Robredo earlier said that the government should take a “more public health approach” in dealing with the COVID-19 situation in Cebu City as confirmed cases of the illness continue to increase.
“This is a health pandemic. Bakit may mga tangke sa daan (Why are these tanks in the streets)? The military has been very helpful, even to our office, pero I think we should take a more public health approach,” she said.
“Ang problema ko rito, ‘pag nakita na ng mga tao iyong tangke, ‘Ano ba to, giyera’? Iyong giyera natin dito against COVID-19 at hindi ito nadadaan sa pagso-sow ng fear among the constituency,” she added.
(My problem here is if the people see the tanks, they may ask, “Is this a war?” The war is against COVID-19 and this will not be dealt with properly with sowing fear among the constituency.)
Robredo explained that the people will more likely cooperate with quarantine policies if they will understand their role in curtailing the spread of the disease rather than sowing fear among them.
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