MANILA (UPDATE) -- A furious President Duterte on Wednesday night issued a stern warning to leftist groups looking to stir public sentiment against the government during the COVID-19 crisis.
Duterte, in a surprise televised address, said that he would not hesitate to have these leftists arrested or even shot and killed by the military or police.
“Huwag ninyong gamitin ang pwersa. I am addressing the left na ‘yung pambabastos ninyo ‘yung slamming about the distribution. Remember kayong mga left: You are not the government. Naintindihan ninyo ‘yan? Hindi kayo nasa gobyerno and you cannot be a part of what we are planning to do for the nation,” Duterte said.
“Intindihin ninyo ‘yan. Kaya huwag kayong mag gawa ng kalokohan at mag-riot-riot diyan because I will order you detained at bibitawan ko kayo pagkatapos na wala na itong COVID.”
The President’s statements came just hours after a protest rally by a group of Quezon City residents from Sitio San Roque along EDSA was dispersed by authorities for violating the enhanced community quarantine.
Police said the leftist group Kadamay was responsible for instigating the protesters by spreading false information.
“Huwag ninyo akong takutin ng gulo-gulo kasi kung gusto talaga ninyo ng gulo, guguluhin natin ang bayan natin tutal wala pa namang pagkain. Kung gusto ninyo nung barilan, eh ‘di sige. Gusto ninyo ng pukpukan, sige. I will not hesitate,” Duterte said.
“My orders are sa pulis pati military, pati mga barangay na pagka ginulo at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa alanganin, shoot them dead. Naintindihan ninyo? Patay. Eh kaysa mag-gulo kayo diyan, eh ‘di ilibing ko na kayo. Ah ‘yung libing, akin ‘yan. Huwag ninyo subukan ang gobyerno kasi itong gobyerno na ito hindi inutil,” he continued.
In his speech, Duterte urged the public to be patient and wait for government assistance.
“Ang pera, dadating. Ang pagkain dadating, huwag lang kayong magulo para smooth --- sa Bisaya pa, hapsay. Ayaw og hadloka ang gobyerno. Do not intimidate government. Do not challenge government. Matatalo kayo, sigurado,” he said.
“Magtiis na lang siguro kayo ng delayed delivery pero dadating ‘yan at hindi ka magugutom. Hindi ka mamamatay sa gutom.”
'TULONG HINDI KULONG'
Responding to Duterte's pronouncements, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) slammed the President, saying problems related to the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic are not solved by force.
"The President should learn by now that problems are not solved by shooting people or ordering them arrested. There is a problem with hunger, delayed delivery of aid, and lack of health services," Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said in a statement.
He said the protesters arrested in Quezon City were not members of any leftist groups, but they took to the streets due to hunger.
"Rather than make threats, the President should just deliver the aid sought by the people. #TulongHindiKulong is the people's cry," Reyes added.
The wife of one those arrested earlier told ABS-CBN News they were asking for support after her husband lost her job because of the lockdown.
"Nakiusap po kami sir kasi itong asawa ko humihingi lang po ng pagkain. Eh may sakit anak ko so wala po kaming kapera-pera," she said.