Palace dismisses as ‘fake news’ rumors of total lockdown, martial law
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday dismissed as “fake news” rumors circulating on social media that the government will impose a total lockdown and martial law amid the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“Habang nagpupulong ang Gabinete, kumalat kahapon ang isang voice clip ng isang babae na magkakaroon ng total lockdown at martial law. Fake news po ito. Wag po tayong magpaniwala sa ganitong uri ng balita,” acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a Palace briefing.
(While the Cabinet was in a meeting, a video clip of a woman claiming that there will be a total lockdown and martial law circulated. This is fake news. Don’t believe this type of information.)
He then warned those who spread false information online, saying such rumors cause the public “unnecessary anxiety and needless panic.”
“Sa mga walang magawa na gumagawa at nagpapakalat nito, tigilan niyo na po ito, please. Hindi ito biro,” Nograles said.
(To those who have nothing else to do, stop this, please. This is not a joke.)
“You’re dealing with a real threat that understandably concerns our people and spreading baseless and malicious rumors contributed to unnecessary anxiety and to needless panic, hindi po ito nakakatulong [this is not helping],” he added.
The Palace official then reminded the public to only get news and information from credible sources.
“Kaya naman po binabalita agad natin ang mga bagong hakbang para sa COVID para alam kaagad ito ng taumbayan [The reason why we immediately report new measures to fight COVID is to ensure the public are informed as soon as possible.,” he added.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also denied that the government will be declaring martial law.
Lorenzana, who is also chair of the national COVID-19 task force, said a declaration of martial law is “definitely out of the picture.”
On Thursday, the Philippines logged 17,220 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in over three months and a new record high 36.9 percent positivity rate.
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