Duterte warns of ‘martial law-like’ takeover over COVID-19 pandemic

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President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Thursday night a “martial law-like” takeover if the public still refuses to obey the lockdown measures being implemented by the government due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Duterte, in his televised address, ordered the military and police to be prepared in taking over enforcement of lockdown measures following rampant violations of the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m asking for your discipline kasi ‘pag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military. I’m ordering them now to be ready,” Duterte said in a late night virtual press briefing.

“Pati ang pulis at military mag-enforce sa social distancing at curfew. Parang martial law na rin. Ayaw ko. Mamili kayo pero pagka naipit na yung bayan at walang disiplina kayo,” Duterte said.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has 5,660 COVID-19 cases, with 362 deaths and 435 recoveries./Stacy Ang

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