Advertisement

Philippines' Duterte threatens to jail those who refuse COVID-19 vaccine

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to jail or deport people who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to jail or deport people who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

June 22 (UPI) -- Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has threatened to jail people in the country who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

During a televised address, Duterte described the COVID-19 pandemic as a "crisis" and "national emergency," saying those who refuse inoculation will be jailed or deported.

Advertisement

"You choose, get vaccinated or I will have you jailed," he said.

"I'm telling you those police jails are filthy and foul-smelling and police are slow to clean them. That is where you'll be."

He added that those who do not wish to be vaccinated should "leave the Philippines" and go elsewhere including India or the United States.

The Phillippines has struggled to roll out vaccines with just below 2% of the population vaccinated.

Duterte spokesman, Harry Roque, a former rights lawyer, said that Philippine law allows a president to compel compulsory vaccination, but such efforts should be supported by legislation.

Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of People's Lawyers, told The New York Times imposing jail time for those who refuse vaccinations would be illegal.

"There is no law that specifically empowers the president to order such arrests for said reasons, even if this is a health emergency," Olalia said.

Advertisement

A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

January 31, 2020
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement