Duterte apologizes for extending MECQ in NCR+

Published April 28, 2021, 10:30 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has asked for the public’s understanding following his decision to extend for another two weeks the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region-plus (NCR-plus) bubble area, saying it was necessary due to the spike of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

President Duterte (RTVM Screenshot)

Duterte made the statement after he approved the recommendation to extend the MECQ in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal until May 14.

In his pre-recorded public address on Wednesday, Duterte apologized for extending the MECQ.

“Naghihingi lang ako sa inyo ng paumanhin (I would like to apologize). I’m sorry that I have to impose a longer, itong (this) modified enhanced community, kasi kailangan (because it is necessary),” he said.

“Nag-spike, tumaas yung infections at yung ospital natin puno. Kaya sana ‘wag niyong dagdagan (We had a spike in infections and our hospitals are already full. So I hope you won’t add to that),” he added.

According to the President, he is aware that he will be criticized for his decision but explained that the two-week extension was requested by medical professionals.

“Ngayon, alam ko na galit kayo. Magalit man talaga kayo sa akin kasi wala man talaga akong magawa (I know that you’ll be mad at me. You will be mad at me because I really cannot do anything),” he said.

“Ang pakiusap ko lang kasi is (My appeal to you is)… two weeks ang hiningi ng mga (is what was requested by) medical professionals including the Secretary of Health,” he added.

President Duterte, instead, appealed to the public to strictly follow health protocols to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Sumunod na lang muna kayo tutal para naman ito sa lahat. I will be the last, ako yung pinakahuling tao na mag-istorbo sa buhay niyo (Just please follow the rules because this is for you. I will be the last person who will cause a disturbance in your life),” he said.

“Sabi ko nga (Like I said), I want the people to be comfortable. Sometimes you just have to intervene because it is of national interest,” he added.

The NCR-plus bubble area is under the MECQ until May 14. Meanwhile, the City of Santiago in Isabela, the province of Quirino, and the province of Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region are also under MECQ until the end of May.

The country logged 6,895 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, April 28, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 1,020,495. Of the said figure, 67,769 were still sick.