President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said quarantine violators, particularly those who are caught engaging in drinking sessions and cockfights, will not receive assistance from the government.
In another late-night public address, Duterte asked the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate these lockdown violators.
“I’d like the DILG to investigate sinong nagpasabong pati ‘yung nag-iinuman. Alam mo sa totoo lang ‘yung kayong nagsasabong pati nag-inuman, ibig sabihin may pera kayo,” he said.
“Kaya do not expect any help from me. Sabihin ko talaga: ‘wala, sorry na lang,'” he added.
The President issued the statement as he aired frustrations in the enforcement of lockdown and the distribution of relief goods and cash aid to millions of poor and disenfranchised Filipinos.
He said government aid must go to those who need it most.
“Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain. Ilang araw na ‘yan na buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo, 18 million families. Sa isang pamilya ilagay mo na lang apat, lima. Eh ilang bunganga ‘yan,” Duterte noted.
“Kaya ‘yung assistance ibinibigay ng gobyerno eh dapat talaga gamitin ninyo sa wastong paraan… Kulang na kulang nga, ibigay ko na lang talaga sa ‘yung nangangailangan at wala nang mapuntahan,” he added.
It’s still unclear whether the President’s statement will be turned into a new policy or if local officials will follow his words on their own.
So far, the government rules in relation to the coronavirus disease outbreak have been prepared by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Then the police and the military under a joint task force will implement it on the ground.
As of April 15, records showed that police have already caught around 119,000 alleged violators of lockdown and curfew rules nationwide.
Of this number, some 28,000 were arrested, while other suspects were warned or fined.
The government has placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine or lockdown until April 30, restricting people’s movement to contain the spread of the virus.
Other areas outside Luzon have imposed their own lockdown policies.