Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned he would order the country’s police and military to shoot dead anyone “who creates trouble” during a month-long lockdown of the island of Luzon enforced to halt the spread of the coronavirus, France 24 reported.
“Let this be a warning to all. Follow the government at this time because it is critical that we have order,” he said in a late-night televised national address on Wednesday.
“And do not harm the health workers, the doctors … because that is a serious crime. My orders to the police and the military, if anyone creates trouble, and their lives are in danger: shoot them dead.”
“Do not intimidate the government. Do not challenge the government. You will lose,” he added in Filipino and English.
Duterte’s warning came after residents of a slum in Manila’s Quezon City staged a protest along a highway near their shanty houses, claiming they had not received any food packs and other relief supplies since the lockdown began more than two weeks ago.
Village security officers and police urged the residents to go back to their homes, but they refused, a police report said.
Police broke up the protest and arrested 20 people, the report added.
Health authorities in the Philippines have recorded 2,311 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus as of Wednesday. At least 96 people have died.