MANILA — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday denied an online rumor that government would supposedly declare martial law to stump a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
In a voice clip spreading on Messenger, an anonymous woman urged the public to stock up on goods as she claimed, without proof, that the country would be paced under military rule.
"Rumor about declaring ML (martial law) is fake news, not true," Lorenzana said in a message to reporters.
The Philippines on Thursday reported 17,220 new coronavirus infections and its highest ever COVID-19 positivity rate yet at 36.9 percent.
Authorities this week upgraded Metro Manila and nearby Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal provinces under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
The third alert in a 5-level system reduces the operating capacity of businesses and bans face-to-face classes, contact sports, funfairs, and casinos
The COVID-19 task force is set to meet on Thursday afternoon.
A recommendation for nationwide mobility restrictions on unvaccinated people is a "possible" topic of the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.