Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatens to impose military rule amidst COVID-19

The Philippine has taken several measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and witnessing a surge in people defying the laws of lockdown, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened a martial law-like crackdown.

The roads of the capital city, Manila that have been deserted for a month because of the imposed lockdown, witnessed an upsurge of cars recently with people flouting a virus lockdown.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said, “I’m just asking for a little discipline. If not, if you do not believe me, then the military and police will take over…The military and police will enforce social distancing at curfew … It’s like martial law. You choose”.

Military dictatorship holds potential for worst rights abuses as witnessed during the tenure of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

At the start of the month of March, Duterte ordered a quarantine of the main northern island of Luzon with only essential services being allowed. Luzon inhabits the capital’s 12 million people.

Police have warned or arrested tens of thousands of people caught outside their homes who have defied the lockdown laws.

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