Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana denied circulating information that the government plans to declare a total lockdown, or even martial law, because of the continuously rising number of COVID-19 cases.
“Not true. Fake news,” Lorenzana told reporters.
Lorenzana, who also chairs the National Task Force on COVID-19, said declaring martial law is “definitely out of the picture.”
Earlier, a recording of a woman’s voice circulated over social media and messaging apps, calling on people to prepare for a possible declaration of a total lockdown or martial law.
The unidentified woman said President Duterte could make the declaration on Monday or Tuesday next week.
She said people should, by “tomorrow” (Friday), buy food supplies that would last them until January 30 as authorities will not allow anyone to go out.
“There is no compelling reason to declare martial law. Increase in new cases? The highest we had was 26,000+ last year. Today, we have 17,220. This variant, while more transmissible, is less virulent than Delta. Less people get seriously sick,” Lorenzana said.
Asked if the government was considering tighter measures like the previous enhanced community quarantine, Lorenzana said: “The IATF is still evaluating. But not total lockdown.”