Martial law? Duterte wants lockdown violators to just 'behave,' says Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2020 01:48 PM

A police officer stands guard at the border crossing of Cainta and Pasig City on April 15, 2020. Local government units have set up checkpoints between their boundaries to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while the island of Luzon is on enhanced community quarantine. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte was asking lockdown violators to "behave," when he told the nation that security forces could be tapped to ensure discipline in a setup similar to martial law, the spokesman of the Philippines' task force said Friday.

In a televised address late Thursday, Duterte asked for discipline following reports of lockdown violations. He added: "Ang police pati military ang mag-enforce sa distance… social distance at ‘yong curfew, sila na. Parang martial law na rin. Mamilli kayo."

(The police and the military will enforce social distance and curfew. It will be like martial law. You choose.)

Asked about the President's comments, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said: "Parang sinasabi lang ni Pangulo, kung talagang magmamatigas ang mga pasaway, then we will really employ and ask the military to come in and help with the police. Parang ganun lang. That’s what he means."

(It's like the President is only saying that if violations will continue then we will really employ and ask the military to come in and help with the police.)

"Warning lang sa mga violators at sa mga lumalabag at pasaway na umayos kayo, mag-behave, let's keep order," he said.

(It's just a warning to violators and those who are unruly to behave and let's keep order.)

The lockdown in Luzon is set to end on April 30, including an 18-day extension.

Nograles said that under the law, military rule is only possible for cases of invasion and rebellion.

"Are we talking about martial law? Yung Constitution is very clear naman. In cases of invasion and rebellion. Pag wala naman yun, hindi naman ano (without it there's no) yung martial law,” he said.

Over 100,000 violations of quarantine guidelines have been recorded by the Philippine National Police.

Earlier this week, stricter checkpoints were enforced after traffic was reported in some major thoroughfares in Luzon despite the ongoing lockdown.