Galvez interprets Duterte martial law remark: ‘Magtago tayo’

Aika Rey
Galvez interprets Duterte martial law remark: ‘Magtago tayo’

'Parang takot tayo kay misis, 'yung mga mister na ayaw umalis ng bahay,' says National Action Plan chief and Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr on the President's martial law remark

MANILA, Philippines – “Magtago tayo.” (Let’s hide in our homes)

This was how coronavirus action plan chief and Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr interpreted President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law remark.

At the briefing of the task force on the National Action Plan against coronavirus, Galvez said on Friday, April 17, that the President simply meant that Filipinos should “hide” in their homes, like a husband afraid of his wife.

“Ang mensahe niya ay simple at malinaw: Magtago tayo. Ang ibig pong sabihin ng ating Pangulo ay magtago tayo sa ating mga bahay at huwag tayong lumabas kung hindi lubos na kailangan. Parang takot tayo kay misis, ‘yung mga mister na ayaw umalis ng bahay, Galvez said.

(His message is simple and clear: Let’s hide in our homes. The President meant that we should hide in our homes and don’t go out unless it’s essential. Just like husbands who are afraid of their wives and no longer want to leave the house.)

Duterte late Thursday, April 16, said he will allow the takeover of military and police if Filipinos continue to break lockdown rules.

“I am ordering them now to be ready. Ang police at military ang mag-enforce sa social distancing at curfew. Parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo. (The police and the military will enforce social distancing and curfew. It would be like martial law. You choose),” Duterte said on Thursday.

Duterte’s Thursday remark was the first time he alluded to martial law as response to coronavirus.

‘Hard-headed Filipinos’

On Friday, Galvez said that the President’s statements were “not hard to understand,” yet there were still those who choose not to follow.

“Hanggang sa ngayon, marami pa rin sa atin, meron pa ring mga kababayan ang hindi nakakaunawa at talagang pasaway,” Galvez said. (Until now, many among us, a lot of Filipinos still couldn’t understand and remain hard-headed.)

He cited how a wet market in Manila remained crowded and that people who shop there did not practice social distancing. Galvez also said that there are still some who “attend parties and go to the beach.”

“Sa aming palagay ay wala talaga silang takot o sadyang mababaw ang kanilang pag-unawa,” Galvez said. (In our view, they do not fear for themselves or have just a shallow understanding of the threat.)

He then went on to say the threat of further coronavirus transmission.

“Napakasakit tignan na panay kabaong ang nasa harapan. Ayaw po natin na magkaganito ang mangyayari sa Pilipinas,” Galvez said. (It’s hard to see a lot of coffins in front of you. We don’t want this to happen in the Philippines.)

Health experts have estimated that the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the country may reach anywhere between 26,000 to 75,000.

As of Thursday, there are 5,878 coronavirus cases in the Philippines, with 387 deaths and 487 recoveries. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at