MANILA – Malacañang on Sunday denied that there was any contradiction between statements made by two government officials regarding the proposed curfew in Metro Manila to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the public might not have been listening carefully which resulted in confusion over whether the proposed curfew will be implemented or not.
He said the public misunderstood the announcement made by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, Jr. that Metro Manila mayors have agreed to recommend, but not yet impose a curfew starting March 15 to April 12.
“Hindi kayo nakikinig e. Yung MMDA sinabi nila rekomendasyon yung kanila. Wala naman silang sinabi na meron na e (You’re not listening properly. The MMDA said theirs in a recommendation. They did not say that there is already a curfew),” he said in an interview over dzIQ.
He explained that Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar was not contradicting Garcia when he dismissed reports that the curfew was already being implemented as “fake news” because it has yet to get the President’s approval.
“Ang sabi ni Secretary Martin, eh wala pa. Unang-una, wala pa ngang ordinansa. Pangalawa, kung walang ordinansa, walang approval ng Presidente (Secretary Martin said there’s no curfew yet. First, there’s no ordinance. Second, if there’s no ordinance, there’s no approval of the President). Where is the contradiction?,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said it will not matter whether the proposed curfew would be an executive order or memorandum.
“Whatever form doesn’t matter, what is important is kung aaprubahan niya yung rekomendasyon, pangalawa, kung magkakaroon ng ordinansa ang bawat siyudad na gusto (if the recommendation will be approved and second, if there will be ordinances in each cities that want to implement a curfew),” he said.
To date, President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to act on the proposed region-wide curfew.
On Saturday, MMDA bared that mayors in Metro Manila wanted to impose a daily curfew for one month as part of the government’s efforts to fight Covid-19.
The plan is to place Metro Manila under curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. until the community quarantine ends to restrict movements in public spaces.
The curfew, however, exempts doctors, health personnel, and food delivery personnel.
Duterte earlier ordered a “general” community quarantine from March 15 to April 14 to limit people’s movement to “accessing basic necessities and work” and place uniformed personnel and quarantine personnel at border points.
As of Saturday, there are 111 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country with eight fatalities. (PNA)