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Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Plan Against COVID-19, said the presence of soldiers in key urban centers will ensure full compliance to lockdown rules, specifically curfew and social distancing.

“Nakita natin talaga na marami pasaway na tao. We believe ‘pag may military, tumitino naman, parang martial law. ‘Pag lumuwag na naman, relapse ng discipline, ganoon ang problema, bigyan mo sila ng chance, gagawin talaga nila,” said Galvez in an interview with ANC.

Galvez was defending President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to deploy the military in reinforcing the police in enforcing the enhanced community quarantine which was declared in March 16.

“I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi ‘pag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police. I am ordering them now to be ready. Ang police at military ang mag-enforce sa social distancing at curfew. Parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo,” said Duterte who was annoyed by stubborn Filipinos overcrowding markets and roads.

Galvez, the former Armed Forces Chief of Staff, said the police force was really insufficient in enforcing the quarantine rules, specifically social distancing, wearing of masks in public and imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. curfew.

Galvez said that some of the police’s enforcement duties were taken over by mayors, barangay captains and other local government officials and he backed their policy of punishing violators.

“Yung mga nag-violate, kino-confine and pinagtatanim para parusahan ng mga pulis. Ganoon din ibang ginagawa ng mgamayor, binibilad sa araw para ma-confine, pinag- fine ng malaki,” he said.

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