(CMR) The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, issued a stern warning to citizens in a television address on Wednesday (April 1) noting that if they defy lockdown orders, they could be shot dead. Duterte issued the warning after an impoverished city in the country’s capital, Quezon City, staged a protest, claiming they had been under lockdown for close to two weeks with no food or other supplies.
“I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, as well as village officials, if there is any trouble, or occasions where there's violence and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead,”
Duterte said in the bilingual address.
“Do not intimidate the government. Do not challenge the government. You will lose,”
Duterte further noted that those detained would have to source their own food.
The president who is known for his controversial rhetoric, also used the occasion to further stress the importance of social distancing and other measures implemented by the authorities to slow the spread of the virus that has infected more than 1 million people worldwide.
In the Philippines, close to 100 million people have been placed under a strict lockdown for close to a month, as the country battles the deadly coronavirus.
To date, the Philippines has 2,633 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 107 deaths.