Duterte asks police to ‘shoot dead’ lockdown violators
ANKARA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered law enforcers to “shoot” residents causing “trouble” during the government’s lockdown put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus, local media reported.
He addressed the nation on Wednesday night, hours after some residents in Quezon City were arrested for protesting against the measures, claiming they had not received ration or other relief supplies.
The country’s main Luzon island, which also includes the capital Manila with a population of over 57 million, is under a lockdown for over two weeks.
“Remember, you leftists: You are not the government. Do not go around causing trouble and riots because I will order you detained until this COVID-19 [outbreak ends],” Rappler news website quoted Duterte as saying.
“I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military… that if there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead. Do you understand? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I’ll send you to the grave,” he warned the violators.
According to the Philippines Department of Health, 11 people infected with the coronavirus died in the last 24 hours, raising the country’s death toll to 107.
At least 2,633 people tested positive while 51 recovered from the disease.
Condemnation
The Philippines leader’s warning drew criticism from rights groups that urged him to “immediately retract his remarks.”
“It is deeply alarming that President Duterte has extended a policy of shoot to kill, a devastating hallmark of his presidency, to law enforcement agencies in the community quarantine,” Butch Olano, the Philippines section director of Amnesty International, said in a statement to The Philippine Star daily. - Anadolu Agency