Curfew to be enforced in Metro Manila during quarantine

TO PREVENT the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), a curfew will be enforced from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Metro Manila during the same period of community quarantine beginning March 15 until April 14, 2020.

The resolution placing Metro Manila under curfew while in community quarantine was signed by the city mayors as one of the measures to prohibit mass social gatherings, the Metro Manila Development Authority said.

The local chief executives also agreed to recommend in their respective city councils, the temporary closure of malls and shopping centers starting Saturday, March 14 until April 14, 2020 except supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and delivery services of restaurants.

The Department of Interior and Local Government said the implementation of curfew will not be immediate because it will be carried out upon corresponding passage of ordinance in each local government unit.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that without an ordinance, no arrests or detention can be made over the curfew.

“#MartialLaw” is among trending topics in Twitter, Saturday afternoon, over netizens’ speculations that the lockdown and curfew might turned into a martial law.

A curfew is not part of the declaration of public health emergency and it is not included in the memorandum containing guidelines on social distancing issued by Malacañang.

The Department of Health and members of Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has also not indicated any recommendation of curfew in Metro Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday, March 12 that the community quarantine is not about “struggle of power”.

“For Manila, Ayaw naming gamitin yan. Kasi takot kayo sabihin lockdown. (We do not want to use ‘lockdown’ because it’s scary), but it’s a lockdown. There is no struggle of power here. Walang away dito, walang gyera (There is no fighting here, no war), it’s just a matter of protecting and defending you from Covid-19.” (NJN/SunStar Philippines)