Duterte threatens military, police takeover for stricter enforcement of quarantine measures

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threatened a takeover by the military and police to enforce quarantine measures after officials noted that more people have been out of their homes, in violation of the Luzon-wide lockdown.

Duterte said he is putting the police and military on standby for them to enforce quarantine measures if people continue to break them.

“I’m just asking for your disiplina," Duterte said in a televised address. "Kaunti. Kasi kapag ayaw niyong maniwala, mag-take over pati military at police. Parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo. Ayaw ko."

[Translation: I’m just asking for your discipline. Just a bit. Because if you don’t follow, the military and police will take over. It’s like martial law. You choose. I don’t want it.]

Presently, however, police and military are already manning quarantine checkpoints. Police have also apprehend violators of quarantine guidelines and curfews.

Duterte’s threat came after officials noted increased vehicle traffic on roads and highways and increased foot traffic in certain public markets, which prompted a stricter implementation of quarantine measures.

To address the increase in the number of vehicles travelling along EDSA and other major thoroughfares of Metro Manila, traffic enforcers from the Philippine National Police were directed to inspect all private vehicles to determine if the drivers and passengers belong to the list of people permitted to go out.

The list includes workers in sectors that are essential during a public health crisis, such as health, security, emergency response, banking, vendors, delivery, and sanitation. One person per household is allowed to go out to avail of essential need, such as food and medicine.

The Philippine National Police has apprehended 115,000 people nationwide who violate the lockdown measures by not following curfew or social distancing guidelines.