2,400 soldiers at COVID-19 frontlines


Posted at Apr 23 2020 11:09 AM

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MANILA -- Some 2,400 soldiers are on the frontlines of efforts to contain the novel coronavirus in Metro Manila, the capital region's military commander said Thursday. 

Of this number, 1,600 are manning checkpoints to limit unnecessary travel and 800 are helping with patrols upon the request of mayors, said Brig. Gen. Alex Luna, commander of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region. 

Luna said policemen or village offiicials should always accompany the roving soldiers who were directed to carry only short firearms and "yantok" or sticks. 

Policemen should lead the arrest of lockdown violators, he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier instructed the military and policemen to prepare for a martial-law style implementation of lockdown measures. 

"Hindi naman po martial law ito," Luna told DZMM. "We just want to show them that if really needed, kung kailangan po nating ipakita iyong might ng ating Armed Forces, we will do that in order for our people to be disciplined." 
(This is not martial law.) 

The entire Luzon, home to about half of the country's population, is on lockdown until April 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19. President Rodrigo Duterte will decide Thursday whether or not to extend the community quarantine. 

DZMM, April 23, 2020