The Philippines could be on the brink of social chaos, sparked because the virus pandemic forced the government to lockdown 57 million residents, many of which are living in poverty and left jobless in the last month. Social unrest broke out mid-week in a Manila slum as food and health equipment are in short supply, reported AFP.
DZRH, Manila Broadcasting Company, posted a chilling video of the social unrest, as low-income folks clashed with government forces during the quarantine.
WATCH: Pwersa ng QCPD dumating na sa lugar kung saan nagra-rally ang mga miyembro ng Kadamay na residente ng Sitio San Roque, Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, QC | via @dzrh5 Val Gonzales #DZRHat80 #COVID19Alert pic.twitter.com/TH13flb3Ng— DZRH NEWS (@dzrhnews) April 1, 2020
While other reports suggest social unrest could soon erupt in the country, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made it very clear on government media on April 1 that police will shot any citizen defying the public health order to shelter-in-place.
“Shoot them dead”: After Filipinos defied a coronavirus lockdown to protest a lack of food, their president, Rodrigo Duterte, took to the airwaves declaring that he will order the military to shoot troublemakers deadhttps://t.co/dcJFXgsOua pic.twitter.com/ttbaXF3hml— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 2, 2020
"I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, as well as village officials, if there is any trouble, or occasions where there's violence and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead," Duterte said. "Do not intimidate the government. Do not challenge the government. You will lose."
"Instead of causing trouble, I'll send you to the grave," he warned, adding that COVID-19 is quickly spreading across the country despite a lockdown.
According to Johns Hopkins, the Philippines (on Friday morning, April 3) has recorded 3,018 confirmed cases of the virus and 136 deaths – much less than surrounding countries.
"It is deeply alarming that President Duterte has extended a policy of shoot-to-kill... Deadly, unchecked force should never be referred to as a method to respond to an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic," Amnesty International Philippines said in a statement.
On Thursday, Philippine National Police Chief Archie Gamboa defied Duterte and said his forces would not shoot people who are violating quarantine orders.
"Probably the president just overemphasized on implementing the law in this time of crisis," Gamboa added.
It appears social unrest is developing in the Philippines – something that we've identified in the last several weeks that could be seen in the Western world.
FLASH REPORT: Umano'y mga nagugutom nang residente ng Sitio San Roque, Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, QC, lumabas na ng kanilang mga bahay at hinahanap na si @officialqcmayor Joy Belmonte | via @dzrh5 Val Gonzales #DZRHat80 #COVID19Alert pic.twitter.com/9xaXjDbKHg— DZRH NEWS (@dzrhnews) April 1, 2020
#FreeSanRoque21— NUSP #5StudentDemands (@NUSPhilippines) April 1, 2020
"If you continue to jail the hungry poor people, expect more protests against this fascist, and elitist solution of the dictator Duterte"
21 hungry protesters from Sitio San Roque, Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City were arrested ... pic.twitter.com/nlP5iTGGWa
The evolution of the virus crisis isn't just collapsed economies across the globe, but rather the social unrest that follows.