MANILA – Mayors who do not implement social distancing measures in their respective cities during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) may face arrest.
In a televised meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte made this warning amid reports over overcrowding in markets.
“Kayong mga mayors, huwag kayong maglaro kasi ang ayaw ninyo mag-social distancing mapipilitan ako puntahan kita at arestuhin kita (You mayors, don’t play because if you don’t want to implement social distancing, I’ll be forced to face you and arrest you),” he said.
Duterte observed that there seems to be “a lack of uniformity” in enforcing the social distancing rule.
If social distancing measures were not strictly observed, he said the rate of infection would not slow down and the second wave of infection could happen.
“Alam mo ‘pag hindi natin ito susunod, walang mangyari. Wala talagang mangyari. Kami dito salita nang salita hanggang makuha rin namin ang (Covid-19), baka una kaming mamatay (You know if we don’t comply nothing will happen. We’ll just talk and talk until we also get (Covid-19), we might even be the first to die),” he said.
Duterte also urged the public to wear “durable” face masks. The use of face masks when leaving their homes is now mandatory for residents in areas placed under ECQ.
He acknowledged that city governments had their own ordinances to observe, but also stressed the need to implement the measures adopted by the Department of Health (DOH) during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Meanwhile, Duterte also enjoined barangay officials to keep a record of Covid-19 related deaths as part of efforts to keep their constituents safe.
“It behooves upon the barangay captain to see to it that kung sino ‘yung namatay siguraduhin lang pagsabi, heart attack (who died and make sure they disclose the reason, heart attack),” he said.
He said Covid-19-related deaths should also observe funeral guidelines.
“At kung malaman ko na namatay sa Corona (Covid-19), kunin ko ‘yung patay at sa gusto ninyo at hindi, magagalit kayo sa akin, wala na rin akong magawa, trabaho ko ‘yan, dalhin ko ‘yan doon sa crematory, sunugin ko. ‘Yan ang trabaho ko (And if they find out that a person died due to Corona, I’ll get the remains and whether you like it or not, I’ll bring it to the crematory),” he said.
The President also urged confirmed Covid-19 cases, patients under investigation, and persons under monitoring to stay isolated in hospitals of their homes to prevent further spread of infection.
“Maganda pa naman sana ang record ng Pilipinas because naka-lockdown tayo on time (The Philippines could have had a good record because we were able to declare a lockdown on time),” he said. (PNA)