MANILA - The military is considering calling army reservists to help in the stricter implementation of quarantine measures in the country, its spokesman said Monday.
Armed Forces spokesperson Brig Gen. Edgard Arevalo reiterated that the public has "nothing to worry about" after he earlier confirmed a leaked document online that the Philippine Air Force is preparing for the police and military's "martial law-type" role in the tighter enforcement of quarantine measures.
"Ang dapat po nating ikabahala ay hindi ang implementation nito, ang AFP kailangan mangalap pa ng additional personnel. We’re looking at the possibility of calling on our reservists upang tulungan tayo sa pagpapatupad ng stricter implementation," he told radio DZMM.
"We may have to call on the reservists sapagkat ang inyo pong AFP ay napakarami naming deployment at hindi naman tayo tumitigil sa ating combat operations."
The deployment of additional policemen and soldiers would mean increased visibility of uniformed personnel on "foot patrols," not just at checkpoints, Arevalo said.
"Kailangan po makipagtulungan ang ating mga kababayan. Wag na po tayo maging pasaway upang sa ganoon hindi na po tayo dumating sa punto na we would have to deploy more AFP and PNP personnel," he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier ruled out a “total lockdown for the entire country" and the implementation of martial rule.
“We want the people to be aware on the graveness of this problem,” he told ANC Sunday. “We are increasing actually policemen and soldiers to implement the remaining days of the lockdown.”
Metro Manila and the entire Luzon, home to about half of the country's 100 million people, is under lockdown until April 30 to contain the pandemic. Other regions have also imposed quarantine measures.
As of Sunday, the Philippines has recorded 6,259 cases of COVID-19, with 572 recoveries and 409 deaths.