‘Shoot Them Dead’: Philippine President Orders Police, Military To Kill Citizens Who Defy Coronavirus Lockdown
In the Philippines, 57 million residents of country’s main island, Luzon, are under strict lockdown orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite that, many in a Manila slum took to the streets on Wednesday to protest a lack of supplies, arguing they had not received any food packs since the lockdown started two weeks ago.
Later that night, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took to the airwaves with a chilling warning for his citizens: Defy the lockdown orders again and the police will shoot you dead.
“I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, as well as village officials, if there is any trouble, or occasions where there’s violence and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English in the televised address. “Do not intimidate the government. Do not challenge the government. You will lose”he added.
On the Other hand responding to orders from President Duterte ,Amnesty Philippine Section Director, Butch Olano, said: “It is deeply alarming that President Duterte has extended a ‘shoot to kill’ policy to law enforcement agencies. Deadly, unchecked force should never be used in an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover he stated, “The abusive methods used to punish those accused of breaching quarantine and the vast number of mass arrests that have been carried out to date, against mainly poor people, are further examples of the oppressive approach the government takes against those struggling with basic needs”.
The violent police response to calls for help is heartless and unjustifiable, especially while millions of Filipinos are prevented from earning a living, he said.