Police personnel hold up placards reminding people to stay at home amid concerns of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in…
Police hold up placards reminding people to stay at home amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19 in Manila on March 31, 2020.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says anyone who violates the government’s lockdown measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak could be shot by police.

Duterte issued the warning during a televised address Wednesday in response to demonstrations in a poor neighborhood in Manila by residents angry over insufficient food aid.

He told police if they feel their lives are in danger when they confront protesters to “shoot them dead.” Duterte also warned of harsh punishments for anyone responsible for attacking doctors and other health care workers.

Duterte has been condemned for his bombastic rhetoric coupled with his brutal crackdown on illicit drugs that has left thousands of suspected drug traffickers and users dead.

The Philippines has 2,311 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, with 96 deaths.

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