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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has stated he intends to jail anyone who refuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19. During his televised address to his country on June 21, 2021, Duterte gave his ultimatum, “You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed.”
The Philippines is currently battling one of Asia’s worst outbreaks of the virus with over 1.3 million cases and 23,000 deaths.
Duterte made his announcement after the country reported low turnouts at several of its vaccination sites in Manila — the capital. His remarks contradicted what the Philippines health officials originally told the people — that it was voluntary.
He further went on to say, “… there is a crisis in this country. I’m … exasperated by Filipinos not heeding the government.”
On June 20th, Philippine authorities reported the country had fully vaccinated 2.1 million people. Considering the government hopes to vaccinate up to 70 million — out of 110 million — people this year, they are making slow progress.
The country’s president has been criticized for his rugged approach to contain COVID-19. Duterte continues to stand by his decision to not allow schools to reopen.
During his address to the Philippines, Duterte took a shot at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was thoroughly unimpressed by an ICC prosecutor who sought permission — from the court — to do a full investigation into the drug war killings in the Philippines.
In March 2018, Duterte called his country’s membership of the ICC’s founding treaty. He described the ICC as “bulls**t” and repetitively stated he will not cooperate with the probe.
Why would I defend or face an accusation before White people.
Philippines President further added, “You must be crazy.”
Many people stated how they felt about Duterte’s ultimatum on social media. Lunghie Dwuel commented on Reuters post on Twitter, “This President is always controversial, it’s an individual choice not to be vaccinated.” To which Adam M. replied, ” An individual choice that threatens the lives of others. Your argument is like saying ‘it’s an individual choice to shoot into a crowd.'”
So people may be facing jail time if they choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Which to many seem to believe this is unfair since it is supposed to be a choice they make and not something forced upon them.
Written by Sheena Robertson
CNN: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatens to jail those who refuse Covid-19 vaccine; story by Reuters
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