President Rodrigo Duterte got frustrated over the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination in the country that he threatened people who refuse to get vaccinated with jail time or the injection of Ivermectin, which is a drug that is used to treat animals with parasites.
He also called the individuals the “carriers” of the virus as they travel while allegedly carrying COVID-19 and passing it on to other people.
“Itong mga gago na ayaw magpabakuna, and they are really carriers and they, you know, traveling from one place to another, carrying the virus, and then contaminating other people,” Duterte said during a televised national address.
He then mentioned the inoculation of Ivermectin to those who don’t want to get vaccinated.
“Itong ayaw magpabakuna, kayong ayaw magpabakuna, ang ipapabakuna ko sa inyo ‘yung bakuna sa baboy, ‘yung Ivermectin, ‘yun ang ibakuna ko sa kanila. Ang titigas ng ulo.”
Adding to that, Duterte also ordered those people to leave the country and go to India or America.
“Kung hindi kayo magpabakuna, umalis kayo sa Pilipinas. Go to India, if you want, or to America. But for as long as you are here and you are a human being and can carry the virus, magpabakuna ka. Otherwise, I will order all the barangay captains to have a tally of the people who refuse to be vaccinated.”
Netizens reacted, saying that it’s not right to threaten instead of guiding and educating those who don’t want to get vaccinated.
In Medicine, you have to look deep into why patients make certain decisions when it comes to their health. Most of the time, they just need guidance. Correct the misconceptions, educate them about vaccines, don’t threaten them. https://t.co/ejL6QEMNl2
— Jai Cabajar (@jaicabajar) June 21, 2021
“Patayin niyo na rin para consistent kayo,” Raquel Fortun wrote in one of her tweets.
Ipapahuli ang hindi magpabakuna? Bakit pa, patayin nyo na rin para consistent kayo. Bawas covid din yan. 😒
— Raquel Fortun (@Doc4Dead) June 21, 2021
Francis Baraan IV clarified Duterte’s claims by saying that non-vaccinated individuals are the potential carriers of the virus.
He stated that even those vaccinated can still be carriers as the drug only prevents severe symptoms, not cure them.
Sabi ng Presidente, kulong o bakuna.
'Pag ayaw mo raw magpa-vaccinate, kulong abot mo kasi potential carrier ka daw. Doesn't he know that even vaccinated people could be asymptomatic, & can still be potential carriers?
Vaccine prevents the exacerbation of symptoms—not cure it.
— Francis Baraan IV (@MrFrankBaraan) June 22, 2021
“Duterte is so obsessed with fear-mongering,” said Jules Guiang.
Duterte is so obsessed with fear mongering. In my understanding, there is vaccine hesitancy bcos of lack of accessible or lack of correct info about vaccine effects. Yet here’s another layer of fear. Sure Roque will say that Duterte is joking, but his words are policy right? https://t.co/HodkEmAlm3
— Jules Guiang (@julesguiang) June 21, 2021
A lawyer asked about the law being violated when one decides not to get vaccinated and if there are even enough doses to make it a strict requirement to Filipinos.
Is there even enough vaccines to make vaccination mandatory for all Filipinos?
What law is bring violated by refusing to be vaccinated? https://t.co/up41zy3kBT
— Goyo Y. Larrazabal (@GoyYLarrazabal) June 22, 2021
Someone also mentioned that it is a person’s right to refuse the vaccine as it is not a crime.
Dont force people to be vaccinated. Its our right to refuse. Don't use ur power to control people. yes u r the pres. but ur power have a limits. u'll put us in jail for what? its not a crime to refuse to be vaccinated bc we have trust issues. u're getting on my nerves. https://t.co/g7PXk2qFfi
— SinagNgAraw (@muntingAraw) June 22, 2021
“Consent must be given voluntarily which means, patients have the right to refuse or undergo a procedure.”
It was also said that forcing a vaccine on a person is a violation of their bill of rights.
in ethicolegal, consent must be given voluntarily which means, patients have the right to refuse or undergo a procedure.
threatening the patient to have the vaccine against their will is a clear violation of patient's bill of rights. https://t.co/IzWQs8jCy6
— heavydirtysøul (@heyuniquelo) June 22, 2021
“Why did Duterte think that harassment and threats are effective ways of convincing people? Simply because it’s the only thing he can confidently do.”
Why did Duterte think that harassment and threats are effective ways of convincing people? Simply because it’s the only thing he can confidently do. Being a competent leader is wayyy out of his league.#KumbinsihinHuwagTakutin#OUSTDUTERTENOW https://t.co/8BK8LklGSn
— ecojrnelson (@gacud_nelson) June 22, 2021
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque then clarified President Duterte’s threat saying that there should be a law in-placed for people to get arrested over the vaccine. However, the President can grant police power to implement policies that could violate human rights for public health protection.
“Pag sinabing police power, meron talagang karapatang nalalabag. Pero nalalabag ito para sa mas malawak na interes, at ito ang public health and safety.”
Roque reminded the public not to take President Duterte’s words literally.