Dela Rosa backs Duterte plan to tap ‘well-organized’ military in enforcing quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — Former top cop and now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to tap state forces to enforce quarantine rules, saying that they are “well-organized” and “better equipped” to do so.
“All other [governments] in the world are relying on their police and military in enforcing quarantine protocols because they are well-organized, better equipped, and quickly deployable,” Dela Rosa said in a message to reporters when sought for comment.
In a speech aired late Monday, the President again raised the possibility of tapping the military to enforce community quarantine should the public continue to disregard health protocols and restrictions enforced by the government to curb the spread of the virus.
Duterte has previously said that he would task the military with distributing a coronavirus vaccine to avoid possible issues of corruption.
But critics have branded the government’s response to the pandemic as “militarist and punitive,” saying that dealing with the crisis should have a health-based approach.
Dela Rosa, an ally of Duterte in the Senate, defended the government’s COVID-19 response.
“Please ask those critics what other approach they can offer. If they have better ideas, then please present it to the [government],” the senator said.
“What we need now is unity not divisiveness; otherwise, we will lose this fight,” he added.
As of August 10, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 136,638. Of the number, 68,159 have recovered while 2,294 have died.
The capital region, along with the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan has been reverted to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine from August 4 to 18.
This, after medical frontliners appealed for a “timeout” to recuperate from exhaustion in battling the pandemic and to provide the government time to “regroup” and beef up its COVID-19 response.
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