MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte issued a stern warning against those who still refuse COVID-19 vaccination, as the country faced another surge in new cases.
"But ’yung mga tao na hindi pa nagpabakuna, without really . . . No offense sa inyo pero which is the reality ever present in this situation, in the environment . . . Malaki ang tsansa na ’pag mahawa ka, mamatay ka. So kakaunti naman ang namamatay, sa awa ng Diyos, hindi masyadong marami, pero may namamatay pa rin. Sigurado ’yan, walang bakuna," he said in a televised address aired Tuesday night.
(Those who are still unvaccinated, no offense to you, but there is a big chance that you'll die if you get sick. There are fewer deaths now, thank God, but people still die. I'm sure those who die are unvaccinated.)
"Kung bakunado ka, there’s a defense, however small, ’yung original for COVID-19. (Ang bakuna) is as good for all of the variants. And the variants, the mutants, nagwawala. Ang mundo ay in a quandary. Lahat tinatamaan, including us."
(If you are vaccinated, there's a defense, however small, for the original COVID-19 strain. [The vaccine] is as good for all of the variants. The variants are on the loose. The world is in a quandary. Everyone's affected, including us.)
Duterte said he will not help those who refuse to be immunized.
" ’Yung hindi nagpabakuna, ’pag tinamaan ’yun, the risk of dying this year 2021 is nandiyan. So bahala kayo. Ngayon kung maghingi kayo ng tulong sa akin, sabihin ko hindi ako tutulong sa’yo kasi hindi ka nagpabakuna. Kung nagpabakuna ka, wala na akong problema saka wala ka nang problema. Ngayon kung mamatay ka, bahala ka sa sarili mo. Puno na ’yung ospital by this time. The contamination is ever growing, very fast. Defenses available to you is the vaccines that you got earlier," he said.
(Those who refuse to get vaccinated, if you get sick the risk of dying is there. So it's up to you. If you ask me for help, I won't help you because you didn't get vaccinated. If you got vaccinated, we shouldn't be worrying about it. If you die, then you're on your own. Hospitals are full by this time. The contamination is ever growing, very fast. Defenses available to you is the vaccines that you got earlier.)
He also reiterated his earlier order to barangay officials to bar unvaccinated people from going out and arrest them if they insist.
" ’Yung hindi magpabakuna at malaman ng mga barangay captain, sabihin na lang nila, ’wag kang lumabas. At kung lumabas ka, you'll be escorted, if you force the issue, I said. Because the barangay captain is a person in authority. He can place you under arrest and dalhin ka sa istasyon. Doon ka sa mabaho istasyon na hindi masyado maganda ang hygiene," Duterte said.
(Once the barangay captain identifies those who refuse to get vaccinated, just instruct them to stay home. If you go out, you'll be escorted, if you force the issue, I said, because the barangay captain is a person in authority. He can place you under arrest, and detain you. You'll be placed in those dirty and smelly cells.)
Duterte said cases will be filed against those unvaccinated individuals who will insist on going out, but they will suffer first from poor conditions in barangay detention centers.
"You will be arrested and at least I think the fiscal can hasten the proceeding by . . . Preliminary investigation kaagad at pagkatapos siyang i-file ’yan, you'll go straight to jail. At ang masakit diyan, before you can work on anything, you'll suffer the sinasabi kong hindi na magandang sitwasyon. Because not all public structures are really the best, the best shelter to be there," he said.
(You will be arrested and at least I think the fiscal can hasten the proceeding by . . . There will be preliminary investigation right away and once the case is filed, you'll go to jail. But what's worse is that before you can work on anything, you'll suffer from poor conditions. Because not all public structures are really the best, the best shelter to be there.)
Duterte has been threatening to arrest those who refuse to get vaccinated, arguing that they spread the virus and put others at risk.
Last year, when there was a surge COVID-19 cases in the country due to the delta variant, he threatened people to get vaccinated or end up in jail.
He later ordered barangay officials should monitor the vaccination status in their areas and bar unvaccinated people from going outside their houses.
Duterte said police can escort unvaccinated people back to their homes if they are seen outside, although he did not say how those who are not immunized would be identified.
Amid another surge in coronavirus cases, this time due to the omicron variant, Metro Manila mayors agreed to limit the movement of unvaccinated people.
The Philippines on Tuesday reported 5,434 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest since October 23.
The country has been classified as high risk for COVID-19 following the sharp rise in new cases.
More than 49,000,000 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or 64.33 percent of the over 77 million government target.