'I'll send you to grave': Duterte tells security forces to shoot dead coronavirus lockdown violators

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 02, 2020, 05:08 PM(IST)

File Photo of Rodrigo Duterte. Photograph:( Reuters )

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He also warned that the abuse of medical staff would not be tolerated and it is a serious crime.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sparked a controversy in the country after he told security forces to "shoot" people who are found violating the lockdown measures.

He also warned that the abuse of medical staff would not be tolerated and it is a serious crime.

"My orders are to the police and military, also village officials, that if there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead," Duterte said during a speech on Wednesday.

"Instead of causing trouble, I'll send you to the grave," he said, adding that the outbreak is getting worse more than two weeks into the lockdown.

The Philippines has so far detected 2,311 cases and reported 96 deaths, but the country has only begun ramping up testing and so the number of confirmed infections is expected to keep rising.

The latest comments immediately sparked criticism from rights groups as they urged the government to provide much-needed relief supplies instead of issuing threats.

"It is deeply alarming that President Duterte has extended policy of shoot-to-kill... Deadly, unchecked force should never be referred to as a method to respond to an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic," Amnesty International Philippines said in a statement.

Duterte, who came to power in a landslide 2016 election victory, is known internationally for his foul-mouthed tirades and deadly crackdown on drugs, which is overwhelmingly supported by Filipinos.

The quarantine, which affects Manila's 12 million people, has shuttered most businesses and brought nearly all social, religious and business activity to a halt.

The Philippines has so far detected 2,311 cases and reported 96 deaths, but the country has only begun ramping up testing and so the number of confirmed infections is expected to keep rising.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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