President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he might use the military to enforce quarantine protocols if the public continued to be complacent.

In a late-night briefing, Duterte said the police “cannot be anywhere and everywhere all the time” to enforce quarantine rules and public health standards, and soldiers could be deployed for additional manpower.

“The military is not part of the governance yet in the matter of using force, or at least intimidating you with soldiers, far from it. We do not have that plan,” he said.

“Kapag hindi talaga madala and it’s a runaway contagion, mapipilitan akong gamitin ang military kasi talagang kulang ang pulis. Ngayon, kung nandiyan ang military to enforce, you to obey itong community lockdown, sumunod kayo dahil para sa inyo ‘yan,” the president added.

On Monday, the country saw its biggest one-day spike in Covid-19 cases, with 6,958 new infections, bringing the total to 136,638.

Majority of areas have been under the less stringent general community quarantine since June to allow for the gradual reopening of the economy.

On Aug. 4, however, Duterte placed the National Capital Region and nearby provinces under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine, following a “time-out” appeal by medical frontliners. John Ezekiel J. Hirro