Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles today dismissed rumors that the Philippine government will declare martial law, shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte warned leftist groups that he would have them killed should they cause chaos during the Luzon-wide lockdown.
In a virtual presscon, Nograles said in English and Filipino, “Is martial law an option? We are not discussing martial law. That’s not being discussed right now.”
Nograles, the spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that Duterte issued the stern warning because he just wants to prevent chaos.
“In a state of calamity, there has to order. What’s important for President Duterte is that we maintain order especially in this time of crisis and in this state of calamity. That was the president’s point,” Nograles explained. “The government will not allow anyone to cause chaos and take advantage of this situation.”
It was in the same presser that Nograles announced that all residents of Luzon will now be required to wear face masks whenever they are out in public to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Filipinos can use surgical masks, reusable masks, hankies, or any shield to protect their faces.
“If we need to go out of the house, we need to wear masks. Even if it is an improvised one or it’s a hanky, we need to cover our mouths and noses,” he said.