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Phl extends lockdown until May 15

24 April 2020

By The SUN

Duterte warns anew of imposing martial law as he announced the extension of the lockdown

The Philippine government has extended the lockdown in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces until May 15 to keep the coronavirus contagion under control.

As of today, Apr 24, the Philippines has a total of 7,192 Covid-19 infections, with 477 deaths, the second highest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the lockdown extension Thursday night through his spokesman Harry Roque, as he threatened to declare martial law to stop rebel attacks.
Previously, he also said he would impose martial law if people continued to ignore lockdown restrictions despite heavily armed police and army troops enforcing the emergency measures to fight Covid-19.

The stay-at-home order in Luzon that Duterte imposed from mid-March to Apr 30 in Central and Southern Luzon provinces was also widened to cover Cebu, Davao and Iloilo.

But Roque said in a televised briefing today, Apr 24, that the quarantine measure in some regions may be loosened starting May 1 to allow the partial reopening of malls and to resume work in agriculture, public construction, manufacturing and other selected industries.
Duterte warned he might declare his own brand of martial law in response to attacks lately by communist New People’s Army on government forces.

Soldiers checking on motorists at a checkpoint in Camp Olivas, Pampanga

“I am now warning everybody. I’m putting notice sa armed forces pati pulis. I might declare martial law and there will be no turning back. Kung ano ang martial law na gagawin ko, akin lang iyan,” Duterte said the media briefing in Malacañang attended by Cabinet members.

“Pero kung gusto ninyo, kasi pinagpapatay ninyo yung mga sundalo ko pati pulis, na walang ginawa kundi sinamahan lang yung nagbibigay ng pera at pagkain, pinatay ninyo. I will try to finish you,” the President said.

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He warned that he would also go after big businesses that he accused of giving financial support to the NPA, a decades-old rebel group.

Roque, meanwhile, said the so-called enhanced community quarantine will remain in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog (Calabarzon), Catanduanes and Albay, as well as on Mindoro island. Benguet, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales.

But there will be another review of the situation by Apr 30.

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The lockdown will also be expanded until May 15 to “high risk” areas in the central and southern Philippines, such as Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, and Cebu in the Visayas, and Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, and Davao City in Mindanao.

Fears for the economy are growing amid the lockdown, with the government already having used up nearly 90% of the almost Php400 billion that Congress had allowed to be diverted to the fight against the pandemic.

But some analysts say that while the lockdown is not good for business, it is a positive step for the healthcare system.


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