MANILA, Philippines — The president of the Philippines warns he will jail village leaders and police officers who don’t enforce pandemic lockdown restrictions.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments Wednesday night were in response to swimming parties, drinking sprees and picnics held earlier this month in three resorts where dozens of merrymakers later tested positive for the virus.
Duterte is known for a tough approach to crime and he says he wants law enforcers to carry wooden sticks as a “permanent fixture” so offenders who resist arrest can be hit in the hands and feet with “reasonable force.”
A surge in coronavirus infections that started in March has begun to ease after the government re-imposed lockdowns in metropolitan Manila and four adjacent provinces. But daily cases are still high and a vaccination campaign is struggling with supply problems.