(Manila) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered police to arrest those who do not properly wear their masks, including those who wear them under their noses, as his country is struggling to contain the outbreak of Coronavirus cases.
The head of state launched this new directive after a meeting of his working team on COVID-19, according to a video clip broadcast by his services on Wednesday evening, in which we see that everyone wears the mask except him.
Thousands of people have been punished for violating rules enacted to combat COVID-19 since restrictions were tightened in late March in the capital and neighboring provinces due to the spread of cases.
The Minister of Justice and the Chief of Police urged officers to impose fines or community service on violators, instead of arresting them, after a man died for breaching a cover-up fire, he was forced to perform a hundred turns by the police. police.
But Mr Duterte said police should be strict with people who wear their masks incorrectly, including those who wear them under their noses.
The president said, “My orders to the police are to arrest people who do not wear their masks properly and to investigate why they did so.”
“This is not for me, and it is not for us. It is in the interest of the country not to infect anyone and not catch an infection.”
Last year, the head of state, known for his scandalous statements, and sometimes his insults, claimed that security forces should shoot anyone causing “chaos” in the confinement areas, which sparked sharp criticism by human rights organizations. .
Presidential spokesman Harry Rock confirmed that the police had received orders to make arrests, saying that a 12-hour police custody was possible.
The Karapatan Human Rights Association denounced the “unscientific and ineffective” guidance, as well as the “disproportionate use of force”.
“The overcrowding of detention centers in inhuman conditions is already a risk to the health of detainees, and arresting hundreds of others and placing them in facilities where physical distances cannot be reached will only lead to the rapid spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19,” she said. The current situation.
The Philippines has a total of over 1 million cases.