PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night denied giving state forces a "shoot-to-kill" order against people flouting the enhanced community quarantine.
"I never said in public 'shoot-to-kill.' Period," he said in a surprise public address.
Duterte said police officers and soldiers would only resort to strict measures if their lives are threatened.
"'Pag lumaban ka, 'pag inilagay mo sa delikado ang buhay ng pulis, barilin mo, patayin mo. 'Yan ang batas," he said.
(If you resist, if you put the lives of police officers in danger, (to police) shoot them, kill them. That's the law.)
Duterte added, "I do not have the obligation to lie to you."
On Wednesday night, the chief executive issued a stern warning against leftist groups and violators of the government-imposed lockdown.
“My orders are sa pulis pati military, pati mga barangay na pagka ginulo at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa alanganin, shoot them dead. Naintindihan ninyo? Patay. Eh kaysa mag-gulo kayo diyan, eh ‘di ilibing ko na kayo. Ah ‘yung libing, akin ‘yan. Huwag ninyo subukan ang gobyerno kasi itong gobyerno na ito hindi inutil,” he had said.
He also reiterated his warning against Filipinos violating the enhanced community quarantine protocols in Luzon, saying the national police will continue to arrest those caught violating the lockdown.
"Sinabi ko 'wag payagan magkaroon ng mga rally, kung ano-ano kasi walang katapusan ito. Pag nasa ospital na lahat, pag nasa puneyarya na lahat sa bahay, pag may mga tao pa rin, parang kadena-de-amor ipasa din niya iyan," Duterte said in a public address.
"What we're trying to prevent is contaminating your good neighbor getting the germs, and [being dead].
"Then if the police will find your excuse or your reason valid, they have to release you. Otherwise, they can be charged for false arrest," he said.