Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told the police and military to “shoot dead” anyone who creates trouble during the nation’s coronavirus lockdown.
“It is getting worse,” Duterte said on Wednesday during a televised address. “So once again I’m telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen.
“My orders to the police and military and the villages, in case there is trouble and there’s an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead.
“Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you,” the President added.
The warning follows yesterday’s arrest of 21 protesters who staged an “unauthorised” rally in Manila’s Quezon City, demanding food aid and assistance from the government.
Video uploaded to social media shows Quezon City Police District violently dispersing the crowd, some of whom were reportedly holding placards saying they have received no help from the local government.
FLASH REPORT: Mga residente ng Sitio San Roque na nag-rally dahil sa umano'y kakulangan ng relief packs sa QC, pinag-aaresto na ng QCPD | via @dzrh5 Val Gonzales #DZRHat80 #COVID19Alert pic.twitter.com/kIdPZlalz8
— DZRH NEWS (@dzrhnews) April 1, 2020
The government of Quezon City denied these claims, saying there has been “continuous distribution of food packs throughout the city, both from the local government and the barangays to ensure that affected families are looked after during this crisis period.”