US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demanded that law enforcement personnel open fire on anyone who “creates problems” in areas where a quarantine regime has been introduced in connection with the new coronavirus pandemic. This was announced on Thursday by Agence France-Presse, citing a speech by the leader on national television.
“My order is for the police and military, as well as local officials: if there is a problem situation in which people attack you and threaten your life, shoot them to kill,” Duterte’s statement quoted AFP as saying Wednesday night. “Instead of creating problems they will go to the grave.”
“I will not be shy Is everything clear?” – said the president.
Before that, in poor neighborhoods of Manila, police arrested about 20 people for anti-government protests. The demonstrators accused the authorities of allegedly not supplying food to the most needy citizens.
Philippine police, AFP points out, hastened to soften the impression of the president’s statement. National Police Chief Archie Gamboa assured Thursday that his subordinates would not open fire on protesters.
“The president, most likely, unnecessarily insisted on the application of the law in this crisis period,” the agency quoted Gamboa as saying.
On March 16, President Duterte imposed a six-month state of emergency in the country. In particular, air and sea communications between Manila and the provinces of the state are prohibited, and curfews have been introduced in Greater Manila at night.
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