‘In this extraordinary war, we are all soldiers’: President Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte said, during his public address March 16 announcing the placing of entire Luzon in enhanced community quarantine, that in this battle with invisible enemy, COVID-19, “we are all sodiers”.

The President assured that measures in place are to fight COVID-19 virus and not against groups or individuals as in martial law.

“Walang invasion, walang rebellion, and public safety does not – public safety requires it (martial law),” the President said. “Hindi ito martial law. Huwag kayong matakot, walang magdi-display ng baril diyan except ‘yung mga members ng Armed Forces or police.”

“Ang kalaban natin ‘pag martial law ay ang mga tao na sumasalakay at naghihimagsik. Pero sa panahong ito, ang kalaban natin ay tayo at ang sakit na COVID,” he explained.

“But let us make no mistake. We are in the fight for the lives. We are at war against a vicious and invisible enemy, one that cannot be seen by the naked eye. In this extraordinary war, we are all soldiers,” he said.

“Lahat po tayo ay sundalo sa digmaang ito. Bata man o matanda, lalaki o babae, bawat Pilipino, anumang estado sa buhay, ay maituturing na sundalo sa digmaan na ito. Of course, the formalities of our doctors, health professionals and health workers, to whom we will forever be thankful,” he explained.

“Our response therefore, is to not leave any quarter to our enemy, by preventing close contact. The only way to ensure this effectively, at this time, is to put in effect the enhanced quarantine that I have described, to last until April 12 or earlier, once we acquire further information warranting the relaxation of these measures,” the President said.