Quarantine violators reach 100,000, Filipinos urged to remain ‘vigilant’

Quarantine violators in Navotas sit out in the sun as punishment <i>Photo: ABS-CBN News</i>
Quarantine violators in Navotas sit out in the sun as punishment Photo: ABS-CBN News

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) today urged Filipinos to exercise vigilance after the police apprehended at least 100,000 people who have broken quarantine rules across the country.

“There seems to have been some sort of complacency. Our fellowmen are attempting [these things] to see how the [government] will react,” DILG Secretary Jonathan Malaya told radio station DZMM in English and Filipino.

In Metro Manila alone, several illegal cockfighting derbies that have sprouted across the city were shut down and their participants apprehended. In Valenzuela City, Mayor Rex Gatchalian even ordered the killing of the gamecocks to teach a lesson to the organizers of a recent derby.

Read: Seized gamecocks from Valenzuela City derby cooked into adobo by pissed city mayor

More cops were deployed on Monday to public markets in Metro Manila after reports emerged that some marketgoers have ignored the government’s calls to practice social distancing.

“We are pleading with the public to be more vigilant in the last two weeks of [Luzon’s] ECQ [Enhanced Community Quarantine] so that what we’ve worked hard for in the last three weeks won’t go to waste,” Malaya said.

Earlier this month, and in a less diplomatic tone, President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened violators not to test his patience, saying that he will not hesitate to order the military to have violators shot.

Read: ‘I will bury you’: Duterte threatens rioters, leftist groups challenging gov’t during Luzon lockdown

Luzon, the country’s largest island and home to half of the Philippines’ 100 million population has been on lockdown since March 17, which is now set to end on April 30.

The country’s confirmed coronavirus cases stand at 5,234 as of yesterday, the highest in Southeast Asia to date.

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