Police in the Philippines on Saturday shot dead a man for not wearing a mask and provoking officers amid a complete lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier ordered police and military to kill anyone violating quarantine or causing trouble during the pandemic.
This is the first such case in the world where authorities gunned down a civilian for breaching coronavirus restrictions.
The 63-year-old man was believed to have been drunk when he threatened village authorities with a scythe – a sharp blade – in the southern town of Nasipit in Agusan del Norte province.
“The suspect was warned by a village health worker for not wearing a face mask,” the police report said. “But the suspect got angry, uttering provoking words and eventually attacked the personnel using a scythe,” it added.
The government ordered on Thursday all people across the archipelago nation’s main islands to wear face masks when going outside during its month-long lockdown.
“Let me repeat – if you need to go out of your house, you need to wear a mask,” government official Karlo Nograles said, according to the German Press Agency. Nograles added it doesn’t have to be a medical mask, but any improvised covering which covers the mouth and nose.
The Philippines has over 3,000 confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus and 144 people have died so far.
In a shocking announcement on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would order police and military to shoot dead lockdown violators. The strongman, who spearheaded the Philippines war on drugs and is famous for his openly vocal support for the extrajudicial killing of criminals and drug users, warned the people.
“My orders to the police and military, if there is trouble and there’s an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead, instead of causing trouble, I will bury you.”
The Philippines’ main island of Luzon has been under lockdown since March 16. Local authorities in several other provinces have imposed their restrictions.
People are only permitted to leave their homes for essential trips to the supermarket or the pharmacy or if they are front-line workers.
This article first appeared on DW