The government is not keen on imposing martial law to ensure order while community quarantines are in place in several areas of the country.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the statement on Thursday, a day ater President Rodrigo Duterte warned leftists against staging riots amid the uncertainty caused by the community quarantines imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Is martial law an option? Hindi natin pinag-uusapan ang martial law,” Nograles said in a virtual press conference.
“In a state of calamity, there has to be order kaya importante kay Pangulong Duterte that we maintain order especially in this time of crisis. Hindi po papayag ang gobyerno na may manggugulo at may magti-take advantage sa situation na po ito.”
Under the 1987 Constitution, the President is empowered to declare martial law in times of invasion and rebellion when the public safety requires it.
On Wednesday, tensions ran high after residents of Sitio San Roque in Quezon City gathered to ask for relief goods that they had yet to receive.
Police said they would file charges against 21 people who were nabbed at the protest.
Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc condemned the arrests and called for the residents’ immediate release.
Duterte, however, said leftists should not threaten him with violence amid the health crisis.