• Nirav Patel

Corona: Strange punishment for lockdown breakers in the Philippines


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is taking drastic measures to fight the Corona virus. On March 24, San Isidro police put curfew violators in the scorching sun and announced on the local government's Facebook page that everyone who broke the curfew would be placed here.


A few days ago in Santa Cruz, Laguna Province, authorities stopped curfew breakers at a dog bar. There have been reports of beatings by police across the country and firing on violators. "If a person is seen outside his home at the wrong time, he will be shot," a police official said in a radio announcement.


Duarte's message to the nation


In a message to the nation on April 1, President Duterte made it clear that "I have ordered the army and the police to immediately fire on the people if their lives are in danger. I will bring those who break the rules to their graves. Do not test the patience of the government.


Two days after the speech, the 63-year-old farmer was shot in Mindanao for refusing to wear a mask. Police said in his hygiene that the man drank alcohol and attacked a health worker with a sickle. The incident caused a stir in the Philippines, with some calling for Duterte to step down. His traditional supporters also criticized the incident.


Matthew Zack, a student leader in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, said in a statement, "If you have a government here that can deal with a health crisis through military and police forces, you can guess what its ideology is." The government should spend its energy testing cores and providing financial assistance to the people, not intimidating its own people.


Many questions on Duarte's human rights record


Even so, Duarte's human rights record is already poor. Many human rights groups have accused him of killing 20,000 people in the past three years in a crackdown on drug traffickers. However, according to the government, the death toll does not exceed 6000.


The United Nations has demanded an investigation into the government's campaign. Carlos Conde, a researcher at Human Rights Watch in the Philippines, says: 'The most worrying aspect of the arrest of thousands is that these people are being held in pre-occupied prisons where every rule of social distance is broken. . These arrests have helped spread more than just the coronavirus.


Order of heavy fine


Duarte has taken drastic measures to combat the corona virus from the very beginning. First, it not only put Manila and the entire Luzon Island on lockdown on March 16, but canceled all domestic and international flights. On March 21, the president's office asked Congress to authorize government-controlled private sector-controlled facilities to deal with Covid-19. When his request was denied, Durt signed a new law on March 25, giving him 30 new rights and allowing the government to control private medical facilities and public traffic.


Political analysts criticized Duterte's move, saying the president already had such powers and would not help prevent the spread of the disease. The Duarte government has enacted a law that anyone found to have violated these sanctions could face a fine of up to ten million pesos or up to 20 20,000.


Individuals or organizations convicted of spreading false information about Corona may also be fined. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines has said that this gives the government the right to decide what is true or false information and that this could be a major blow to the right to freedom of speech.


Very few people test the corona


Philippine opposition leader Laila de Lima, who has been in prison since 2017, said the government had arrested 17,000 people so far in violation of curfew and quarantine. People are dying because the government is putting more emphasis on constant control rather than helping people. Duarte's move did not bring any relief in the fight against Corona.


According to the Philippine Department of Health, 60,560 cases of corona have been confirmed, while only people were infected with the disease until March. According to the World Health Organization, the Philippines is the most infected country in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Malaysia. The disease has so far killed 362 people in the Philippines and the number of people recovering from the disease is only 435. According to figures submitted by Johns Hopkins University, the Philippines has fewer tests than other countries, with only 38,103 in a country of 110 million people.


Arrest of people seeking food


The biggest case of people protesting the lockdown in the Philippines came on April 1, when 21 people were arrested for demanding food aid in the city of Quezon in the province of Senkor and 15,000 pesos or Rs. Bail of Rs 22,500 was granted. It was said that in Senkor province, where 80% of the people earn 500 pesos a day, it is almost impossible for a common man to pay that much for bail.


Amnesty International Philippines has demanded that the government investigate the atrocities committed by government officials. The people of the Philippines do not like the drastic measures taken by the Duarte administration. They are still waiting to see what the government does for about 18 million low-income families, of whom about 1.5 million have lost all means of livelihood.


Eliza Romero, convener of the Malayan movement, an organization working for human rights and human rights in the Philippines, says the firing order could lead to "extra-judicial" killings. As such, there is a tradition of dictatorial governments in the Philippines after Finland Marcos.


Three decades ago, in February 1986, millions of people stood up against Marcos's dictatorship and had to step down.


Carlos Conde, of the Philippine Human Rights Watch, says history could repeat itself if Duarte does not make drastic changes to his tenure. Even before this, we have removed two presidents. If need be, we will not hesitate to do it again

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