Those who join mass gatherings will be jailed, Duterte warns
MANILA, Philippines — Anyone who joins mass gatherings, which are forbidden during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be jailed, President Rodrigo Duterte warned in his taped briefing that aired on Wednesday night
Duterte said he would find a law that would allow the police to arrest and detain those who attend mass gatherings.
He made the remark after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported that three mass gatherings occurred within the NCR Plus – which is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna.
“Most of you are committing a crime because you know that after gathering, after swimming together, a lot of you will get positive for COVID-19,” he said.
“It seems you’re ignoring the government’s plea and it’s criminal for you to get COVID-19 and pass it on to another innocent person. It is really a crime,” he continued, speaking partly in Filipino. “I will look for a suitable law because you are now forcing my hand to get into this thing and control it.”
He chided those who were “nonchalant” in the face of the COVID-19 threat, admonishing them for not helping reduce the number of COVID-19 but instead even transmitting the coronavirus.
“I’m telling you that it’s dangerous and you take it nonchalant[ly]. That means it’s okay for you, that it doesn’t matter to you,” Duterte said.
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