Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday denied claims made by a voice recording being spread on social media that the government would impose martial law by January 10 to stop the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country.
“Not true. Fake news. Definitely, out of the picture,” he said in a message to reporters.
In the voice recording, a woman is urging the public to stock up on food good for until January 30 on the possibility that President Rodrigo Duterte will declare martial law or total lockdown by next week.
In the scenario, no one will be allowed to go out, hence the need to stock up on supplies, the woman claimed.
“There is no compelling reason to declare martial law,” Lorenzana said.
He said the 17,220 Covid-19 infections logged on Thursday, while quite high, are still lower than the more than 26,000 recorded in 2021.
“The highest we had was 26,000 plus last year. Today we have 17,220. This variant, while more transmissible, is less virulent than Delta. Less people get seriously sick,” he added.
When asked whether there would be a lockdown similar to the enhanced community quarantine implemented in 2020, Lorenzana said there would be no total lockdown.
He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is still evaluating the situation “but not total lockdown.”