Duterte shuns COVID-19 vaccine for drug addicts, pushers

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2020 10:51 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 30, 2020. Robinson Niñal Jr./Presidential Photo

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he would deny drug offenders the vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it becomes available.

Duterte, who has repeatedly headlined his war on drugs campaign, said he views drug offenders as "dogs."

"Mga drug pusher, drug addict, I will not waste money on you. Ibigay ko na lang 'yan sa ibang lugar," the President said in a public address aired Friday.

"Tingin ko? Mga drug pusher, drug addict, aso. Hindi ako magtulong sa inyo. Sinisira ninyo ang Pilipinas. Pinapatay ninyo ang tao," he added.

(How do I view it? I see drug pushers, drug addicts as dogs. will not help you. You are destroying the Philippines. You are killing people.)

The President said he will tap the military to lead the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.

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.