Duterte flies back to Davao City as lockdown measures ease

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President Rodrigo Duterte is back home in Davao City early Saturday on the first day of eased lockdown, as confirmed by the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a text message.

In a separate text message, Presidential Security Group chief Col. Jesus Durante also confirmed Duterte’s trip back home.

“Yes. He (Duterte) is in Davao for a visit after more than two months of not being able to see his family,” Presidential Security Group commander Col. Jesus Durante III confirmed in a text message.

Durante also assured that the President will be back in Manila in time to meet with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“He will be back for the next IATF meeting,” he said.

Durante, however, did not mention as to when the next IATF-EID’s meeting will be held.

President Duterte had been staying at Malacañang Palace in Manila since the imposition of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most stringent community quarantine, in the entire Luzon in March. This derailed his initial plans to return to his hometown on April 7 to celebrate the 16th birthday of his youngest child, Veronica.

Duterte, however, decided to stay in Manila for over two months to closely monitor his administration’s efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

To date, Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales are placed under modified ECQ (MECQ) from May 16 to 31, based on Resolution 37 released by the IATF-EID on May 15. The cities of Cebu and Mandaue remain under strict restrictions of ECQ.

All places nationwide that are not under ECQ or MECQ were placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Spokesperson Roque said GCQ needs to be first reclassified as modified GCQ before an area can experience the new normal.

“Sa ngayon, wala pong lugar sa Pilipinas ang nasa MGCQ at new normal (For now, all areas in the country are not under MGCQ or the new normal),” he clarified.

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