Duterte offers vaccines to NPA rebels if they stop fighting till December


Posted at Jul 31 2020 10:29 AM | Updated as of Jul 31 2020 11:23 AM

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President Rodrigo Duterte is offering COVID-19 vaccines to New People's Army rebels if they stop fighting military troops until December 2020. 

"If you stop fighting for a while during the period or until December because my soldiers will be busy monitoring, supervising - 'wag niyo nang galawin - puwede kayo sumali," he said in a press briefing aired Friday.

"Post COVID na tayo mag-away ulit. I am just telling you, stop it and allow the normal process of helping the country."

The Communist Party of the Philippines earlier declared a ceasefire with government forces from March 26 to April 15 amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic raging across the country.

Duterte is pinning his hopes on China for a vaccine by December since Chinese firms are responsible for 2 of the 3 most advanced coronavirus vaccines that had entered Phase 3 trials, or large-scale testing on humans -- the last step before regulatory approval.

"Ang una nga makuha siguro natin from China," he said, noting that China's Sinopharm and Sinovac have reported progress in their inactive vaccines.

He added that he hopes to vaccinate every Filipino, starting with the poorest sector and the military. 

The President has tapped retired military generals to lead the country's pandemic response, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Peace Process Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr, and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

The Philippines as of Thursday has 89,374 confirmed COVID-19 infections, of which, 22,327 are active.

With Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News