Duterte allows NPA rebels to get COVID-19 jabs 'only if there's excess supply'


Posted at Jan 25 2022 11:00 AM

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Video courtesy of PTV

President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed excess COVID-19 shots to be given to fighters of the New People's Army. 

"Tingnan lang ninyo at kung may sobra, edi ano—pero tawagan ninyo muna ako na kung may sobra ibigay ninyo sa NPA para hindi ma-COVID-19," he told officials in a taped meeting that aired on Tuesday. 

(See if there are excess jabs, but call me first, if there are excess shots, give it to the NPA so they don't get COVID-19.) 

"Kung may sobra lang, hindi kayo puwedeng unahin, kalaban kayo sa gobyerno," he added.

(Only if there's excess supply; you cannot be prioritized because you are an enemy of government.) 

The Philippines has received some 215.5 million COVID-19 shots. It has so far inoculated 57.2 million of its 109 million population. 

Duterte in his latest speech also renewed his call for NPA fighters to surrender. He said he could offer them housing, work, and skills training. 

The President told soldiers to "give them (NPA) the chance to surrender properly, and surrender the firearms." 

"Tapusin na natin ito. Tutal sinubukan naman natin na barilan, wala naman nangyari," he added. 

(Let's end this. We tried fighting with guns, nothing happened anyway.)