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  President rejects calls for longer MECQ


President Duterte said he cannot give in to the request of the medical community for a longer lockdown in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces because the funds granted by Congress to help those affected have already been depleted.

Duterte made the statement following suggestions from different personalities about extending the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) that is effective until August 18.

“I’m telling the doctors, much as I would want, really, to give in to your demands, especially in the matter of lockdown. I want it because I do not want the contamination to continue. It’s a continuing thing,” Duterted said in his late-night public address on Monday.

“The problem is the funds are already depleted. Kailangan nating magtrabaho ‘yung iba,” he added.

President Duterte said that despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the people now need to go out to work in order to put food on their tables.

“If it’s food for your family, medyo tatanggapin ko ‘yan kasi hindi ko na kayo mapakain lahat, eh,” he said.

“Kung meron lang ako pamgbigay, ibibigay ko sa inyo araw-araw para mabubuhay kayo,” he added.

The President then asked the public anew to cooperate with the government and follow the strict quarantine and health measures in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

He said he will be forced to use the military if the number of COVID-19 cases will continue to rise because people are not following the quarantine rules.

“But pag hindi talaga madala, and it’s a runaway contagion, mapipilitan ako maggamit ng military kasi talagang kulang ang pulis,” Duterte said.

“Kung nandiyan ang military to enforce you to obey the community lockdown, sumunod kayo dahil para sa inyo ‘yan,” he added.

“Tignan niyo ngayon, sige kayo labas nang labas, ‘di dumami ‘yung contamination (Now, see. The contamination is greater because you keep on going outside),” he continued.

President Duterte, however, said he believes that the Philippines will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The challenges are daunting but we will not be defeated because we have a strong faith in God, totoo ‘yan; and in the resilience of the Filipino people, totoo rin ‘yan,” he said.

He likewise assured the public that the government is doing everything it can to eradicate the disease. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)

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Written by Tempo Desk

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