In Manila, someone leaving home with an other intention than to seek for basic necessities is a dangerous offender.
Depending on the situation, our dangerous offender is risking a fine of 1,000 to 5,000 pesos if he jogs on the street, an imprisonment of six month if he drops his mask for a short while to breath fresh air, or even… the death sentence if he jogs on the street after 8pm and meets on his way a conscientious policeman well determined to enforce the recommendation of his Filipino President Duterte not to tolerate violators of the fight against coronavirus causing troubles. “Shoot them dead. Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you,” President Duterte warned.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte put the main Philippine island of Luzon on lockdown on March 16, 2020, police has arrested hundreds of people in Manila, and in other parts of the country, for curfew violations and to enforce social distancing related to covid-19… then they placed violators in crowded detention facilities! For example, the government press agency reported that police in Bacolod city, on Negros, arrested 728 persons for violating the curfew between March 15-21, and detained them overnight in police lock-ups before releasing them the next day.
Saying that, they are rather lucky as on April 13, the Joint Task Force Covid Shield warned “violators of home quarantine and other guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine” may end up staying in jail indefinitely.
Of course, thanks police and military to help ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus disease. Because in this period, as some neighbors would say: it is critical that we have order!
And we need to confess than our neighbors are the most effective at creating order. They are terribly helpful and determined to protect THE community. Or, at least, OUR community. And more surely to protect THEMSELVES! Because if we are not careful, this damned virus will be not just a problem for the poorest, it will reach our district and our building!
It is thanks to our neighbors that workers coming from outside the building are now prohibited. Because they are likely to bring the covid-19 as surely as a wild pangolin! Before talking about growing hunger in the suburbs, let’s talk about covid-19 in our building!
Thanks to our neighbors to remind everyone the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine in a city where more than half of the inhabitants lives in slums.
Thanks to our neighbors who help enforce that we no longer venture into the streets, even with mask and respecting the social distancing… and now one cannot even walk his dog outside. Because the neighbors cares about us. It is only in the strict and unique interest of the community that some neighbors capture the photo of the offenders and publishes it on the social networks of the city.
Thanks also to our neighbors for allowing the youngest of our family to be the only to join to celebrate the 3-year birthday of his friend. The other children of the building – who have not left the building since mid-March – were not allowed to come because the neighbors were afraid than covid-19 be invited to the birthday snack as well. Please, play online games if you want play with other kids! If you are too young do puzzles or Legos but keep these clean and keep separate from other toys in the house!
It also is thanks to our neighbors that we have learned to pay much more attention to the health of people in their seventies, which of course is important, than the well-being and future of our children.
It is also thanks to our neighbors that we have learned how to stay healthy, or more exactly away from covid-19, forgetting all the other dimensions of human existence. Not catching covid-19 should be a sufficient goal in existence, right? So why spending time to talk about freedom, mental health, human rights?
As of April 16th, in our country with 7,000 islands and almost 110 millions inhabitants, the total number of covid-19 cases is 5,660 with 435 recoveries and 362 deaths.