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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Orders Mandatory Arrest

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the mandatory arrest of all those who violate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health rules, addressing it was “criminal” to risk spreading the virus to other people.

As he was fed up of reports of gatherings taking place despite the pandemic, and permitted police to use “reasonable force” to arrest individuals who defy health protocols. The announcement followed a series of mass events in the capital region, Metro Manila, and nearby provinces, that resulted in dozens of attendees contracting COVID-19 earlier this month.

The first incident was reported at the Ciudad sa Gubat resort in Caloocan City, where, after a party for some 500 guests, at least 20 tested positive for the virus and the second incident was a three-day community pool party in Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon, where 54 participants were infected. Another event took place last week with over 2,000 people swarming the Bakas River in Barangay Matictic, Norzagaray,for a picnic.

Recently, 6,000 people showed up to receive food assistance from the office of one Quezon City councilor, observing no social distancing.

“ Duterte aggressively conveyed about the citizens of Philippines are committing a crime because they know that after a gathering, after swimming together, a lot of peaple will (test) positive for COVID-19. They are ignoring appeals from the government and it’s criminal for them to get coronavirus and pass it on to another innocent person and it is really a crime.If this negligence continued there will never be an end to this.

The barangay captain (village chief) will be the first one to be arrested if there’s one more (incident) and failure by local authorities to enforce restrictions was a dereliction of duty punishable under the Revised Penal Code. He ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government to enforce pandemic safety rules through arrests and encouraged the use of force.

On Thursday, the Philippines reported nearly 6,500 new COVID-19 cases, making its total tally cross the 1.2 million mark.About 20,400 Filipinos have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.


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