By Masiding Noor Yahya
MARAWI CITY: Maranao leaders have expressed support for the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) after it ends on April 14, 2019 citing the rising number of cases of the coronavirus disease midnight April 12, (Covid-19).
Former regional governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman Jr. of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said the ECQ extension seemed to be the logical option since the curve had not yet flattened or downtrended.
“We need to unite behind the government containment measures,” Lucman added.
“[Physical] distancing is the best available defense against this pandemic,” he said, adding that “stay[ing] home and stay[ing] clear of crowds is the best for all of us.”
Marawi City prosecutor and law professor Ating Diacat said he favored the extension but a surgical one.
“What is the use of monitoring, statistics and probabilities and economic theories?” he said.
Extend the ECQ in areas where it needs to be extended, he added.
Bayan Balt, a lawyer and the head of the Ranao Federal State Movement, suggested a selective ECQ to balance the economy amid the Covid-19.
Balt, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Lanao del Sur, said the ECQ should be relaxed after April 14 in local government units (LGUs) that host manufacturing of food, medicines and agricultural products.
Former judge Qadi Amer Naga Moner also believed there was a need for the ECQ to be extended. “It is not yet peace time.”
Kisomama Karim, an engineer and a former overseas Filipino worker, favored another 15-day extension, “but in those places where there are no cases, it shall be lifted.”
Traditional leader Mohammad Haroun said he was for the extension for the welfare of all.
Former ARMM worker Tomaga Abdo said he was in favor but only if it would be strictly implemented.
In Davao City, former ARMM executive secretary Randolph Parcasio said in a phone patch that he believed the extension was needed.
But Jassia Arnaiz Yahya, a Maranao, hoped the ECQ would not be extended, saying many would die of hunger if it was prolonged.
The Maranao desire for the ECQ extension though came after Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said there was no local transmission of the deadly virus, and the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) said the total number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) went down significantly.
IPHO chief Alinader Minalang said as of April 3, only 432 remained as PUMs after 1,738 persons have completed the 14-day quarantine period.
As of April 2, there were 228 persons under investigation as the count of the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force showed, he said.
“We are flattening the curve. If we can successfully guard ourselves and every household in the province from the entry of new Covid-19 cases, then we can prevent transmission and eventually win the battle,” Minalang added.
(This article Maranao leaders favor longer ECQ first appeared at The Manila Times.)